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Opinions vary on divorce for stay-at-home parents

Studies show that people in Texas and across the country have widely different perspectives of how stay-at-home parents should be treated during a divorce. Around 25 percent of mothers and 7 percent of fathers across the country stay home to care for their children, in what is often a joint decision between both spouses in a marriage. There are a number of reasons why people make this choice; in the first place, many simply believe that a parent, especially a mother, is best placed to provide care for their children. For others, the decision is simply practical; daycare may cost more than the salary brought in by the stay-at-home parent.

A stay-at-home parent, unlike most paid childcare services, is available all the time to perform full parenting duties. This can give the working parent the freedom to work lengthy hours, take business trips or pursue a promotion without being held back on the "mommy track" or even the "daddy track." Sometimes even spouses with high-powered careers of their own choose to stay home after having a child. Around 10 percent of mothers with a master's degree or higher leave the workforce to become stay-at-home moms.

Research shows that women tend to value the contributions of stay-at-home parents more highly when asked how assets should be distributed in a divorce. On the other hand, men were less likely to provide equal weight to the caregiver's contributions. However, also unlike women, they were more likely to value a stay-at-home parent more highly if he or she was highly educated.

Texas is a community property state, so each spouse has the right to half of the marital assets developed during the relationship. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to help achieve a fair solution on property division, spousal support and other matters.

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