Women (or men) who have been out of the workforce for a few years to stay at home with children face many challenges during divorce. While the emotional struggle and legal hassle are foremost in most people’s minds as they begin the process, many soon realize the financial hardships can be the most significant.
We’ve often been asked about creating a budget for your post-divorce life, for example. One or both partners in a divorce typically leaves the house and find an apartment or rent a residence for the separation period. If you’re not working, you have the added trial of figuring out how to pay the rent with no recent income history.
Ways Rent an Apartment
Here are some steps you can take if you’re looking for an apartment but don’t have income:
- Talk to your lawyer. You might be able to secure alimony payments during the separation period. While alimony is less common than it used to be, such payments are possible if you are not working.
- Get someone to co-sign the lease. Many apartments will allow you to rent without proof of income as long as someone else also signs the lease. Think of it from their perspective: they don’t want to rent to you only to have to evict you later, which is a lot of time, money, and trouble for them. Your co-signer can vouch for you and show his or her credit to help you get settled.
- Use savings. You and your partner probably have some cash stashed away. Talk to your lawyer and partner before spending it all, but some apartments will rent if you give them the first few payments up front.
- Get a job. This instruction sounds harsh sometimes, but the truth is, women can’t expect alimony. As we just stated, you might be able to secure some for a short period, but that support may not continue once the divorce is final. Although a lot depends on your circumstances, you are more than likely going to have to work at least part-time. If you can get a job before you move out of the house, you should be able to use a paycheck stub as income proof for your new apartment or rental.
- Use your networks. Your friends and family may know someone with a rental. Renting from a person rather than an apartment complex means less hassle regarding your employment history. He or she may still require a credit or background check, but if you come recommended and vouched for, you have a better chance.
- Consider staying with someone. Of course, if you have children who will live with you, staying with another person is not ideal. However, a family member with extra rooms may offer a place for a month or two as you get organized.
What’s your divorce question? You can get the answer straight from an attorney, a financial advisor, and a therapist during our monthly Raleigh divorce workshop, held on the second Saturday of every month.