When couples become parents, it is certainly not uncommon for one parent to decide to stay home with the children. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 29 percent of mothers in the U.S. are stay-at-home moms and 6 percent of fathers are stay-at-home dads. In a number of these cases, whether due to preference or economics, this means one parent has put their careers on hold — or even halt — to raise children. 

Looking at research from the same center, there appears to be a link between the economy and an increase in one parent staying at home. With increases being reported in 2000 and 2007, it seems many parents are deciding to stay home due to economic reasons, with it simply making more financial sense for one parent to stay home than to pay the high cost of childcare. 

Of course, there are also some parents who choose to stay home because their partner earns enough for one parent to stay home. But, according to a CNN article on the rise of stay-at-home moms, this is not the norm and more moms who stay at home are actually financially struggling.

Either way though, whether staying home was necessity or choice, the fact remains that in both of these situations one parent could have put their career aspirations on hold to raise children. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with this, one has to wonder what would happen if the relationship did not last and the parents decided to get divorced. This could leave the stay-at-home parent in a bad financial spot. 

In cases like this though, there may be options, including receiving spousal support. This is where an attorney with experience handling these types of family law cases can step in. This attorney can explain how spousal support, also known as alimony, works and help advocate on behalf of a stay-at-home parent. 

Source: CNN Money, “Stay-at-home moms are on the rise,” Annalyn Kurtz, April 8, 2014