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Stay-at-home parents should consider postnuptial agreements


For many Virginia residents, the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement are obvious. Protecting a couple's future interests in regards to property division, and parenting arrangements is something that is a no-brainer for some. However, many still hold the belief that prenuptial agreements conflict with their ideas of marriage and commitment. So they opt out of signing a prenuptial agreement -- which is okay for some people, but it becomes a little tricky when one of the parents decides to become a full-time caretaker. In these situations, a postnuptial agreement can oftentimes be helpful.

Many Virginia residents may not be aware of postnuptial agreements, but they can be very helpful for a variety of reasons. One case in which a postnuptial agreement is almost always helpful is when a spouse decides to quit his or her job to become a full-time parent. This often happens during the years when the spouse is entering his or her peak-earning years.

What this means is that the spouse is giving up lots of potential income to focus on raising the children -- which is admirable, but it also makes the spouse dependent on the other spouse. Should anything unfortunate occur -- like a divorce -- then the spouse who left a career to become a full-time parent is left in an undesirable position. They have given up their peak-earning years and may find it difficult to get back into the workforce.

Nonetheless, by signing a postnuptial agreement, spouses can find an arrangement that is not so devastating for the stay-at-home parent, should the couple decide to divorce. It is sometimes helpful to think of a postnuptial agreement as a work document -- the spouse is agreeing to take on the full-time job of being a stay-at-home parent and should thus be compensated if a divorce happens. Seeking legal help in drafting a postnup can potentially help couples come to an agreement that is equitable and mutually satisfactory.

Source: Forbes, "Why You Need A Postnup And Other Points To Consider Before Leaving Your Paid Job To Be A Stay-At-Home Mom," Jeff Landers, Jan. 22, 2014

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