Many people are familiar with the prenuptial agreement, but post-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common and important. Stay-at-home parents in particular can benefit from these types of agreements, which are very similar to prenups except they are drawn up and signed after the marriage instead of before.
A post-nuptial agreement, or postnup, spells out how the asset division and spousal support will be handled in the event of a divorce. This is especially important for men and women who are leaving successful careers to stay home with the kids and manage the home.
When working on a postnup, couples should take into consideration the lost years of income the stay-at-home parent has sacrificed and the cost of the childcare that would have been needed had both parents been working full time. It is also important to factor in that, in the even of a divorce, the stay-at-home parent may have to enter the workforce at a lower-paying job than when he or she left, or it may take longer to find employment after being out of the workforce for several years.
While a postnup may not be the biggest thing on your mind in the months or years immediately after marriage, taking the time to settle these kinds of issues sooner rather than later can actually increase marital satisfaction. Having everything locked down can relieve the stress of the unknown, and the nonworking parent is likely to get a fairer settlement than during messy divorce proceedings.
A postnup does not mean that a couple is destined for divorce, it simply ensures that both parties are taken care of fairly if the marriage does dissolve, and sometimes, that surety is all that is needed.
CNBC, “Why stay-at-home moms need a ‘postnup’” Jeff Landers, Dec. 21, 2013