For the most part, both men and women in Illinois agree that parents who act as caregivers to their children play an important role in a marriage. However, men and women tend to disagree over how much a stay-at-home parent should receive in a divorce settlement. A study involving roughly 3,000 people asked participants to read a scenario about a couple who divorced after having three children. Both the husband and wife worked until the couple's first child was born.
At that point, the husband continued to work while the wife stayed home to care for the children. The husband filed for divorce after 17 years of marriage. Participants were given six different scenarios in which the husband and wife had various occupations and levels of education. For the most part, female participants gave the wife the same share of marital property regardless of her education level.
Male participants were more likely to base the wife's share on her level of education. They were likely to assert that the person who made the money for the household was entitled to a greater share of it. In most divorce cases, stay-at-home parents generally don't receive a full 50% of marital property. However, there are some who believe that all married couples should strive to split assets equally regardless of how they are acquired.
In a divorce, determining how much alimony a person gets may be a difficult question to answer. If a couple has a prenuptial agreement, it will help determine if an individual gets spousal support and how much. However, if no agreement exists, state law will generally factor into whether anyone is entitled to support. A spouse who didn't work during a marriage may be able to receive assistance until he or she can find work.