Do Stay-At-Home Moms Need a ‘PostNup’?
A recent article published in “Today” raised an interesting question regarding the risks associated with stay-at-home parenthood. Despite the fact that stay-at-home parenting is a 24-7 job, all too often, high conflict divorces can draw out a sense of entitlement by the income earner that he or should be able to “keep the money they worked for.”
Parents who leave the workforce, or who never enter the workforce at all, in order to raise children forego establishing earning potential. If a stay-at-home parent is suddenly thrust into the workforce due to divorce, her employment opportunities are limited by her lack of work experience and relevant education. If the stay-at-home parent previously worked and seeks to re-enter the workforce, chances are she won’t be earning at the same level she was previously due to her absence from the workplace.
Often the income earner has gained work experience, education and promotions during the marriage which has created a significant earning disparity between the parties. It can also lead to a disparity in access to liquid funds after a separation. The cost of a high conflict divorce often drives settlement and can lead a stay-at-home parent to settling their divorce case for less than fair terms.
A good way to avoid such a pitfall is to enter into Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement addressing financial matters in the event of a divorce. A prenup or a postnup is a private contract between Husband and Wife that, upon separation, would be presented to a Court for settlement of their financial matters without the need for expensive and emotionally taxing litigation. Spousal support, division of retirement and other financial accounts are just a few of the issues that can be addressed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.