Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses Assigning Value to the Contributions of a Homemaker

Mississippi law requires that the marital assets of a divorcing couple be divided equitably, or fairly, when they part ways. When a married couple marries, the parties begin contributing to something bigger than just themselves – the household. There are many things that go into maintaining a household, and earning income is just the tip of the iceberg. Even for couples without children, married people do things in their roles as spouses and keepers of the home which contribute to the well-being of the household as a whole. When children are part of the picture, their parents take on the roles of mother and father.

The collection of assets that are considered to be marital property in any divorce is always far more extensive than the very narrow list of things which the court will consider as separate property. This means that most assets are to be divided equitably. Full disclosure of all debts and assets is an important part of the divorce process, so that each spouse can see what, exactly, the pool of marital property looks like that they will be dividing.

When one spouse foregoes a career outside of the home to fulfill the role of homemaker or stay at home parent, they enable the wage earning spouse to “do their thing”, so to speak, without having to concern themselves with many of the other things that go into maintaining a household and/or raising children. In this way, they contribute to the acquisition of marital property, and sometimes even to an increase in the value of separately held property.

Divorce can be a scary thing for a homemaker/stay at home parent, because the income which they relied on for their day to day needs will no longer be a part of their lives in the same way that it had been during the marriage. A divorcing homemaker is likely to be very concerned with how they will be able to support themselves and their children, if they have any, after the split. After all, divorce means that they will need to secure separate housing and all of the things that go into maintaining it, as well as having money to put food on the table and pay for all of the things that they and their children need.

Fortunately, the non-economic contributions of homemakers and stay at home parents are recognized by the courts, which go through a process of listing all of the things that the homemaker spouse has done to contribute to the household, and assigning an approximate value to them so that an estimate of their total contribution can be calculated. Each homemaker spouse’s list is unique, so no two will have the same value. The contributions of the wage earning spouse are likewise assessed, with values being assigned not only to wages earned, but to professional licenses and college degrees, because if those were acquired during the marriage, the activities of the homemaker spouse may have played a large role in making those things possible.

A fairly recent estimate of the “salary” that would be due an average homemaker based upon the work that they do was calculated by financial news source Mint.com to be a little over ninety six thousand dollars a year. If you are a homemaker and you are reading this for the first time, it’s okay to be a little surprised, because it is very likely that you did not realize just how much your contributions are worth, in an economic sense. Of course, the facts of each case vary, with some duties being outsourced in some homes and some duties being shared in others.

If you are a homemaker or a stay at home parent who is planning to get divorced in Mississippi, it is essential that you speak with an attorney who understands how to calculate the worth of your contribution to the household. Your Mississippi Divorce Lawyer can explain the Mississippi divorce laws as they apply to your particular situation, and they can help you resolve your divorce in a way that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Lawyer Discusses Assigning Value to the Contributions of a Homemaker
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Mississippi Divorce Lawyer discusses how to assign value to the contributions of a homemaker.

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