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How in the world do divorced women survive financially?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 10:56 am
Please any and all feedback appreciated.
If you don't have much training or cannot work in your field of training or in general cannot keep up with the demands of raising a bunch of kids and working, how do you manage?
Any ideas for fields that are worth training in? That are more adaptable to work from home?
If you had a good job and feel able to work then probably not in same category as me.
Interested to know if there are differences women felt in US vs. Israel in terms of how they were able to navigate/find employment and in general stay afloat?
Think in terms of mainstream yeshivash circles and all the expectations that comes with . And the suggestion of needing to say NO more to children isn't so helpful when certain things have become the overwheliming norm in our communities.
Please help!!
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:01 am
Hugs. It's really really hard.

I qualify for government programs and some financial assistance as a student.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:14 am
I've been divorced. I say this all as someone who has been through this and come out the other side BH.

The first think you need to know is to stop with "the norms" and expectations. Those go out the window when the more important thing is providing the basic necessities for your kids. I take it you are not yet divorced but considering it, if you are asking the question and commenting not to suggest no more children. FORGET THE NORMS. I don't care how overwhelming of a norm it is in your community! A "norm" is not a reason to have more children, ESPECIALLY if you are considering divorcing and looking into how to support yourself financially. I would ask a rav a shailah if you are even allowed to be intimate with your husband when divorce is on the table. If I read your post wrong, and you meant to say "do not tell me to tell my kids "no" more often" - then I still say the same thing as above. You have to flex your "no" muscle when it's between getting them the newest thing or latest clothing and between chicken for shabbos.

I left college once I got married because my ex and his family "would support me". I had no money or education and only one child. I got a job from a kind person and worked hard. It was HARD. And that was without norms and expectations.

(ETA - a women who needs a job has to take whatever she gets and if she has no training, she needs to go to college at night online. She will be tired and have no koach of course but it is temporary and she has no choice. Work from home may not be possible).

OP, what exactly is your situation?


Last edited by watergirl on Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:23 am
Meant saying NO to children that they can't have things and them getting endless peer pressure.
My situation is complicated and no I am not divorced currently. But have literally been on the brink of divorce in the past and considering it. One (but not only thing) holding me back would be that I don't have a way to support myself, can't see myself working (certainly not full time and not outside of the house) and actually having any hope of building a life for myself or having time for any self care.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:36 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Meant saying NO to children that they can't have things and them getting endless peer pressure.
My situation is complicated and no I am not divorced currently. But have literally been on the brink of divorce in the past and considering it. One (but not only thing) holding me back would be that I don't have a way to support myself, can't see myself working (certainly not full time and not outside of the house) and actually having any hope of building a life for myself or having time for any self care.

Thanks for clarifying. This is all so hard. Unfortunately, you WILL have to see yourself working. Maybe out of the house and maybe full time. This is the reality of divorce. Self care takes many forms, you have to be open to explore what it can look like. There are a lot of things that change when we get divorced, saying no to kids, no to peer pressure, working long hours... it all stinks but humans are resilient and we can adapt to anything. Yes, life will look very different.
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amother




Navy
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:50 am
My friend who works as a chiropractor got alimony for a few years
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amother




Pearl
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:58 am
My dh payed lots of money for child support plus he allowed his ex wife to stay in the fully paid for house so there was no rental expense.
We were the ones who barely made it financially
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 11:59 am
Just like married women. Some rely on family, some work, cut expenses etc.
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 12:06 pm
amother [ Navy ] wrote:
My friend who works as a chiropractor got alimony for a few years

Spousal support is becoming less and less of a thing and it's intention is to slowly wean women off of the support they got when married and to get back on her feet. If a woman never went to college, this is supposed to let her do that, etc. It is NOT for a women to sit back and live off of until it ends.

amother [ Pearl ] wrote:
My dh payed lots of money for child support plus he allowed his ex wife to stay in the fully paid for house so there was no rental expense.
We were the ones who barely made it financially

Same with my husband to a degree. He paid close to 3k/month, plus half of tuition for the kids, plus health insurance, PLUS more for kids clothing, even though thats part of CS. He stopped sending more for clothing when we got married. He also gave her a signed checkbook for her to use as she felt necessary (which ended when we got married too!). She rented a cheap house in a cheap community and sat with her feet up while the kids were in school. When she got remarried, she still sat pretty until her husband made her work. The kids always called us before a YT if they were not with us and always were so excited to tell us about the amazing chol hamoed trips, the roasts, the hotels... and I was buying enough bologna for each of us to have 3 pieces for shabbos lunch. My husband over compensated at first. Then he "only" paid what he agreed to pay in their settlement.

While it is certainly true that a divorced women is not comfortable at all, I remember learning the statistics when I was in a college course where this was relevant; in cases where both parties are honest and properly disclose their complete income to the courts, the women is generally better off and the man is much worse off, even if he stays single. He still has the burden of supporting her, any children, and maintaining his own home.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 12:14 pm
watergirl wrote:
Thanks for clarifying. This is all so hard. Unfortunately, you WILL have to see yourself working. Maybe out of the house and maybe full time. This is the reality of divorce. Self care takes many forms, you have to be open to explore what it can look like. There are a lot of things that change when we get divorced, saying no to kids, no to peer pressure, working long hours... it all stinks but humans are resilient and we can adapt to anything. Yes, life will look very different.


This.

It is really hard to do everything, but that's what divorced women deal with. Leading and serving at the shabbos table is not meant to be done by the same person, but we do it every week because we have to. Same with finances.

I have two part-time jobs, plus some freelance work, and I am finishing an online degree.

I don't get much child support and no alimony, but as I mentioned I do get help from government programs as well as some scholarships as a student, temporarily until I can transition to a better career.
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amother




Pearl
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 12:57 pm
watergirl wrote:
Same with my husband to a degree. He paid close to 3k/month, plus half of tuition for the kids, plus health insurance, PLUS more for kids clothing, even though thats part of CS. He stopped sending more for clothing when we got married. He also gave her a signed checkbook for her to use as she felt necessary (which ended when we got married too!). She rented a cheap house in a cheap community and sat with her feet up while the kids were in school. When she got remarried, she still sat pretty until her husband made her work. The kids always called us before a YT if they were not with us and always were so excited to tell us about the amazing chol hamoed trips, the roasts, the hotels... and I was buying enough bologna for each of us to have 3 pieces for shabbos lunch. My husband over compensated at first. Then he "only" paid what he agreed to pay in their settlement.

While it is certainly true that a divorced women is not comfortable at all, I remember learning the statistics when I was in a college course where this was relevant; in cases where both parties are honest and properly disclose their complete income to the courts, the women is generally better off and the man is much worse off, even if he stays single. He still has the burden of supporting her, any children, and maintaining his own home.


I love the bologna example!!! Totally get it!
I also explained to my husband that so many extras he was paying for should have been taken from child support. I think he just wanted to be seen as the “good guy “ but we were left with very little with that mind frame.
We paid for his kids to go to camp... our kids stayed home.
We paid for his daughter to go to seminary in Israel... our water got shut off.
Divorced ladies... yes it’s hard and you will have to work. Be thankful for the child support and government programs. Let the guy you didn’t want to be married to anyway get on with his life. If he’s still sending you money for everything you cry for, I guarantee it will come to an end when he remarries and his new wife sets him straight.
And please don’t tell him that you will let the kids know he didn’t want to pay for something when you are already getting child support. When your kids grow up they will realize on their own which parent was good to them over the years... don’t use them as pawns or you will surely loose out! (Speaking from experience here)
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 1:02 pm
amother [ Pearl ] wrote:
I love the bologna example!!! Totally get it!
I also explained to my husband that so many extras he was paying for should have been taken from child support. I think he just wanted to be seen as the “good guy “ but we were left with very little with that mind frame.
We paid for his kids to go to camp... our kids stayed home.
We paid for his daughter to go to seminary in Israel... our water got shut off.
Divorced ladies... yes it’s hard and you will have to work. Be thankful for the child support and government programs. Let the guy you didn’t want to be married to anyway get on with his life. If he’s still sending you money for everything you cry for, I guarantee it will come to an end when he remarries and his new wife sets him straight.
And please don’t tell him that you will let the kids know he didn’t want to pay for something when you are already getting child support. When your kids grow up they will realize on their own which parent was good to them over the years... don’t use them as pawns or you will surely loose out! (Speaking from experience here)

OMG YOU GET IT! I wish you were not anon so I could pm you so we could chat about this and not hijack this thread! The camp thing - YES! Seminary - OMG I CANT EVEN. AND to the bold. My husband's ex loves to say this and I see it all the time from other divorced women. I have never ever done this to my child from my first marriage. If I cant afford, the child does not do.
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cfriedman2




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 2:58 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Meant saying NO to children that they can't have things and them getting endless peer pressure.
My situation is complicated and no I am not divorced currently. But have literally been on the brink of divorce in the past and considering it. One (but not only thing) holding me back would be that I don't have a way to support myself, can't see myself working (certainly not full time and not outside of the house) and actually having any hope of building a life for myself or having time for any self care.


I am divorced and I dont think you realize how much your life is going to change if you do get divorced. You will be left with no option but to say no and to work. Yes its hard and challenging but its also reality. Unless you have someone supporting you which it doesnt sound like you do you will get an amount of child support and then you will be required to make up the rest by either cutting expenses or bringing in an income. I have one kid and bh support myself but I say no and my daughter understands that. She knows I am raising her on 1 income and that means she cant get everything she wants all the time. She also knows that I work full time so that I can provide for her.

sending you strength and courage to make the decision that is right for you and your family.
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 3:08 pm
It's very hard. My friend ended up couch surfing with her kids. Then moved in with her abusive mother. Ended up marrying a guy who was less than great just to get a stable place to live. When I volunteered for the food bank a lot of the recipients were single mothers. None were single fathers. Life isn't fair.
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tante_feige




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:02 pm
I was a SAHM in your position. I 100% get where you are coming from... that having been said:

1) Your finances WILL change. You need to accept it.

2) You WILL need to get a job. No judge or beis din will award you enough support money to stay a SAHM, simply because you do not feel capable of holding down a job. You will need to get a 9-5 job, or a job that pays the equivalent. If you don't the court will impute a salary onto you, and calculate support accordingly.

3) You WILL need to say no to your kids.

4) By sheer virtue of divorcing, you are already violating the norms of Yeshivish society. (Whether or not this is a fair norm for Yeshivish society to impose is a subject for another post.) You and your kids will be judged. FWIW, your husband will also be judged.

5) Nobody gets divorced for glamour or fun, and nobody should get divorced in the hopes of "marrying up." You should get divorced when the problems of being divorced are fewer than the problems of remaining married.

There is not always a right/wrong answer. But you need to accept reality when making your decision.


Last edited by tante_feige on Tue, Sep 15 2020, 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tante_feige




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:05 pm
As to how we survive... we survive the same way that millionares survive, by the grace of God.
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:13 pm
Perhaps you can sell something on ebay or Amazon. You can do it from home at any hour of the day. Of course this type of work has to match your personality and you would likely need help figuring out what you can sell.
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amother




Lawngreen
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:26 pm
I don’t know how I would manage to be honest. I’ve thought about it. Even if I got alimony and help from my parents, I’d still have to work (and I have been away from my career 15 years already so not so easy to dive back in) and still have to live far below the standard to which I’ve grown accustomed. And I’d be exhausted, depressed and lonely to boot.
I’m in awe of the women who manage it somehow. I mean, I get that when there is no choice you just do what’s needed but still... it takes a lot of strength and determination to make it work. Respect!
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thunderstorm




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:40 pm
My mother was a SAHM until she divorced . She went out to work when she divorced, and also went to school on nights and weekends to get a degree.

My sister was also a SAHM and when she decided she was going to divorce she first found herself an entry level position. She built her way up and became head manager of a large company. She now earns more than both my DH and I combined. She works really hard and is often stressed out from her job. But she had no choice and I’m so proud of her when I see how much she accomplished and how much she was able to grow in such a short time.

My SIL is divorced . She receives a decent amount of child support and alimony but was also a SAHM her entire marriage. Post divorce she got herself two jobs. One during the day and one at night some days a week and on weekends. When you have no choice you just got to work really hard.
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amother




Plum
 

Post  Tue, Sep 15 2020, 4:50 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Please any and all feedback appreciated.
If you don't have much training or cannot work in your field of training or in general cannot keep up with the demands of raising a bunch of kids and working, how do you manage?
Any ideas for fields that are worth training in? That are more adaptable to work from home?
If you had a good job and feel able to work then probably not in same category as me.
Interested to know if there are differences women felt in US vs. Israel in terms of how they were able to navigate/find employment and in general stay afloat?
Think in terms of mainstream yeshivash circles and all the expectations that comes with . And the suggestion of needing to say NO more to children isn't so helpful when certain things have become the overwheliming norm in our communities.
Please help!!


Start now. Do research on potential degrees and occupations. If there is a local career center near you, visit it and speak to an advisor. Look into a proper online degree like from WGU and look into high demand degrees/occupations you can mostly do remote. Go to your local community college and see what they have available (many times they offer programs like certifications and licensure. Depending on the job, you may or may not need an AA or BA to do the certification).

You might not love your options based on your personality, but that's okay. You just have to be interested in the field, enough to pull you through the classes until the end (e.g. if the health field is totally not your style, but business management is at least somewhat interesting to you, go with business management).

Good remote work ideas (you'll need to research for yourself which will require degrees and which ones don't):
IT, any form of it. (Start learning a coding language or two ASAP like Python or CSS+. There are tons of online resources for free to help you, including apps)
Medical coder and biller (highly in demand. Just make sure you do the full certificate, I.e. not only biller but also coder.)
Education (online tutoring is very big ATM. Figure out your best subject or your niche subject and push that, e.g. maybe you're good at math or navi, etc.)
Business management
Health field (data input, transcription services, translation services if you're bilingual-- many remote options)
Freelance writing (very difficult to break into, but if you have an "in" can be a steady, if small, source of income)
Virtual assistant services (could be perfect for the right person. You can offer whatever services you'd like and not necessarily others. E.g. will make appts, send quotes, answer emails, take calls, but not trip plan or do accounting)
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