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Stay-at-home parents should consider postnuptial agreement

For many families, choosing to have one parent stay and home to care for children and manage the household makes a lot of sense economically and practically. Usually, of course, it is the wife that makes the decision to exit the workplace and become a stay-at-home parent, but husbands are increasingly making this decision.

Regardless of which party chooses this role, there are potential negative consequences in the event of divorce. For the party who remains out of the workplace for a significant amount of time, it may be difficult to find adequate employment once the marriage ends. Of course, this party is typically compensated in property division for his or her contributions as a stay-at-home parent, but the outcome is not always ideal.

One way to ensure better financial security for stay-at-home parents, at least for couples who have the foresight to know that one party will be assuming this role, is to execute a prenuptial agreement that incorporates financial protections for the party who chooses to remain out of the workforce for the sake of the family. Couples who miss that opportunity, though, are still able to execute a postnuptial agreement.

Postnuptial agreements are like prenuptial agreements, except that they are entered into during marriage. Like any other contract, these agreements must not involve fraud, duress, coercion, or other irregular circumstances. Such agreements are limited in what they can address, as well. For instances, they may not address custody matters.

It is important for Alaskan couples considering a postnuptial agreement to work with an experienced attorney in negotiating and drafting the agreement. Doing so will ensure that their interests are represented and that the agreement will be effective in the event it is needed. 

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, January 22, 2014. 

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