Entering the workforce as a newly divorced parent can be a daunting prospect. Outdated skills, shaky confidence, and a less-than-inspired wardrobe may make the idea of job hunting overwhelming. Nevertheless, returning to work after divorce could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
While it might be tempting to rely on alimony payments from your ex-spouse, the reality is that depending on someone else for financial security is not a foolproof plan. Here are eight reasons why returning to work after divorce makes sense.
What Are the Benefits of Returning to Work After Divorce?
The Not-So-Permanent “Permanent Alimony”
Permanent alimony may not be as everlasting as it sounds. Various life changes such as job loss, illness, disability, or retirement could hinder your ex’s ability to meet alimony obligations. In such cases, your ex might request a court modification of support, putting your financial stability at risk.
Non-Payment of Alimony
Unfortunately, some ex-spouses simply stop making alimony payments. Even though they may be in contempt of court, this doesn’t prevent people from dodging their financial responsibilities. If your ex ceases payments, you could find yourself facing financial difficulties, even if legal action eventually compels them to pay.
The Risk of Ex-Spouse’s Death
While it’s a morbid thought, if your ex-spouse passes away, your alimony support ends. If your ex didn’t have a substantial life insurance policy naming you as the beneficiary, this could leave you in financial jeopardy.
Resume Gaps and Aging
The longer you stay out of the workforce, the harder it becomes to secure a job. Resume gaps widen, and age can be a factor that doesn’t work in your favor.
Expensive Health Insurance
Paying for your own health insurance is costly, especially when compared to employer-sponsored plans. It’s significantly cheaper to get health coverage through an employer rather than individual policies or COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).
Building a Financial Safety Net
Having a job allows you to save for unexpected expenses, home repairs, or your children’s needs that alimony payments may not cover.
Saving for Retirement
Very few women receive alimony that covers all their expenses, child support, and retirement savings. Having a job provides additional income to contribute to your retirement fund, and if your employer offers a 401(k) matching program, you can build your retirement savings more quickly.
Rebuilding Confidence and Self-Esteem
Going back to work can be a challenging experience, but it offers an opportunity to learn new skills and rebuild your confidence. Facing your fears and accomplishing new tasks can be empowering and provide a sense of achievement that staying home may not offer.
While going back to work after divorce may not have been part of your initial plans, life can take unexpected turns. Embrace the opportunity that these changes present. Although it might not be where you envisioned yourself, returning to work after divorce can lead you to a place of greater security, confidence, and self-assuredness than you ever imagined.