In a previous entry, Family Money Matters, I wrote about the pitfalls of financial dependence in a relationship and how that plays out in separation. In this entry, I’d like to offer a more concrete solution to this scenario.
Let’s say a couple comes together and decides to have children (or children suddenly become their new reality). The couple decides that one partner will stay home with the children. The other partner goes out into the world, makes money and supports the family. Over time, both enjoy the benefits of their role and also resent the limitations of it at times. Over more time, the relationship breaks down and the couple decides to separate. At that point, the resentment rises and the shortcomings of their respective roles become glaring. The stay-at-home parent has little or no job experience or skills. The working parent struggles to fit into the rhythm of the household. They enter the separation process feeling that they deserve compensation for their losses in the form of spousal support or challenging custody arrangements.