When expecting a child or when their children are still very young, a parent will sometimes make the decision to take some time away from the workplace to stay home and care for the kids. Sometimes, they will move to a job where they can work from home or part-time. Others, if the family can afford it, will take a sabbatical from their career completely.
Usually, it's women who do this. However, men sometimes become stay-at-home parents as well.
If you have a new baby or young children, you're likely not thinking of divorce. However, if you've decided to be a stay-at-home parent, you should give some thought to protecting your financial future if your marriage were to end.
It can be difficult to re-enter the workplace after you've been away for a time. Even if you do, you likely won't be able to get the salary you'd have if you'd remained in your job.
That's why a postnuptial agreement may be a good idea. A postnup is essentially the same thing as a prenuptial agreement. However, it's negotiated and put in place after a couple is married.
With a postnup, a stay-at-home spouse can stipulate that if they divorce, their spouse will fairly compensate them for the amount of money they gave up by being out of the workforce or taking a lower-paying, less time-consuming job so they could focus on caring for the children. This may be done through spousal support or in the divorce settlement itself.
With the help of an experienced family law attorney, you can estimate how much money you're forgoing while you're out of the workforce and how that will impact your earnings potential in the future. They can help you work toward an agreement that will protect you financially in a divorce.
As with a prenup, both partners have to agree to the terms of a postnup. That's why it's important that you and your spouse each have your own attorney involved in the process.