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Should parents who stay home get more during divorce?

While small pockets of individuals may disagree, the consensus in New Jersey and across the United States is that the contributions of a mother have great value. The work of a mother does not bring extra income to a family, which is why the decision for the woman to stay home with the children is often a difficult one that takes planning and sacrifice. However, no matter how much value society places on motherhood, when parents divorce, it may not be easy for a mom who leaves the workforce to obtain a fair share of marital assets.

Over 25% of U.S. mothers opt to stay home -- compared to 7% of men -- including nearly 10% of all women with advanced degrees. When a mom leaves the workforce to raise children, she may also quietly contribute to her spouse's ability to advance his career. However, a recent survey showed that men tend to believe divorcing fathers who work are entitled to a larger portion during asset division than their stay-at-home spouses.

Understandably, women who took the survey believed mothers who give up their careers to care for their families deserve a bigger share. The survey questions offered a variety of combinations for the education, occupations and marital assets of each spouse, and the women's responses were relatively consistent. The men who answered the questions opted for a larger settlement for the stay-at-home mom only in the scenario where the mom's educational level was higher than the dad's.

This survey may show the disparity the general public feels about splitting marital property when the financial contributions of the spouses are not comparable. It may be difficult to appraise the worth of a spouse who makes personal sacrifices for the family, and this could present challenges during a divorce. Having a skilled New Jersey attorney as an advocate can go a long way toward leveling the playing field during asset division.

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