Most people have heard of a prenuptial agreement, but there is also a contract known as a postnuptial agreement that a husband and wife can enter into after marriage. Personal finance contributor, Jeff Landers, writes for Forbes magazine that a postnuptial agreement is a wise decision for women to consider before becoming stay-at-home moms.
In a recent article published on Forbes.com, Landers talks about steps all women should take before deciding whether to leave their job and become a stay at home wife. He argues that it is important for women to understand their financial futures before choosing to quit their job and to especially consider their income will be affected in the event of divorce. He offers four pieces of advice:
- To consider how the dynamic of the marriage will change when the husband becomes the sole breadwinner. Couples are advised to discuss the issue of sharing one income and their attitudes towards stay at home parents. A wife may not feel comfortable asking for money, for example.
- To consider the possibility of divorce. No one wants to think about getting divorced but, as the article states, about 50% of marriages in the US do end in divorce. This means that couples should always plan for the worst which includes making sure that each person would be financially secure including the woman who was not earning income.
- To think about how leaving the workforce will affect their careers. Women who are about to leave the workforce to become stay-at-home mothers should look at how taking a break from the job market will affect their career in the long time. If they have plans to reenter their field in certain number of years, they should make sure that it is still a viable option and that they will be able to earn an income on their own in the future.
- Prepare a postnuptial agreement. Finally Landers recommends that all couples prepare a postnuptial agreement before either one becomes a stay-at-home spouse. Postnuptial agreements work just like prenuptial agreements in that they define the couple's property and explain who will be entitled to what in the event of a divorce. The purpose of doing this before quitting a job is to make sure that the stay-at-home partner who will not be making their own money will be taken care of in the event of a divorce.
In 2013, the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld postnuptial agreements as being enforceable. In the In Re Estate of Richard B. Wilber, the court upheld that a postnuptial agreement signed between Wilbur and his wife to divide their property was enforceable in both of their estates. This case shows that the Supreme Court in New Hampshire will uphold a postnuptial agreements.
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement and have questions or need advice, contact an experienced New Hampshire family law attorney. Even if you are not sure if a postnuptial agreement is right for you, a lawyer can explain your options and help you make sure your future is secured.
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