Free Phone Consultations:

Chicago Office - 312.360.0250

Skokie Office - 847.329.0101

Single Mothers Divorcing in Chicago

Newly Single Mothers and Divorce in Chicago

By M. Scott Gordon

Do Single Mothers divorcing in Chicago put a greater financial burden on themselves more than on men? For women who have been stay-at-home moms and who have been out of the workplace for quite sometime, the answer often is yes. According to a recent article from NBC News,  single mothers Divorcing in Chicago have a greater financial burden.  “Divorce can be a one-way ticket down the road to financial instability for many women, especially those who are middle class or low-income.” In short, women of all socioeconomic brackets tend to be greatly affected by divorce, but those who already are working-class women tend to “be hit harder.”

Returning to the Workplace After Time Away

Despite the fact that gender equality has become a more pressing issue across the country, more women tend to stay at home than do men once children enter the picture. As such, women typically are the ones who return to work after a childrearing hiatus in the event of divorce. But going back to a full-time job can be more difficult than some women think.

In short, numerous single mothers divorcing in Chicago must start their professional lives “from scratch.” And this is the case regardless of your socioeconomic bracket. For instance, let’s say a woman, Jane, with a B.A. in marketing began a career at a marketing firm in Chicago in 2000. She got married a few years later and became pregnant. By 2005, Jane had decided to stay at home to raise her child, and she and her husband agreed that he’d continue to work in order to provide the family’s source of income. Now, Jane and her husband have decided to divorce, and Jane wants to get back into marketing work.

However, it’s a lot more difficult for Jane to find employment than it was back in 2000. Why? She has been away from the professional marketing world for 10 years, and she doesn’t have much on her resume outside the work she did nearly a decade ago. And it turns out that, during the recession, the marketing firm she used to work for went bankrupt. Given the situation, Jane, like other newly divorced mothers, might have to take a job making an hourly wage with limited benefits. Despite the fact that Jane could have been a partner in a marketing firm by this point, she has had to settle for a position that’s far below her previous earning potential.

Financial Demands of Custody and Childcare

In addition to the sheer difficulty of returning to the workplace after significant time away, women with sole Child Custody in Chicago (or joint custody with residential custody) of their children also face additional financial burdens.

Laura Tach, an assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, emphasized the financial demands of raising a child, particularly for newly divorced mothers. To be sure, “mothers who have custody of children can see 30 to 40 percent of their income vanish, and their earnings are often unstable, since childcare or other caregiving demands can pull them out of the work force.” And as Tach explained, “just having a single income doesn’t help to buffer some of those financial shocks . . . . It’s much more difficult to balance that out.” And these issues don’t take into account the financial cost of divorce itself.

While many women in Illinois who left the professional world to raise children are eligible for spousal support, it doesn’t make up for the financial or professional burdens that often appear once a divorce is finalized. If you have questions about the financial implications of divorce, you should contact an experienced Chicago divorce attorney at M. Scott Gordon & Associates to discuss your case.