People choose to become stay at home parents for many different reasons, which can include the birth of a child, sudden unemployment, or rising costs in childcare and nanny services. With women starting to out earn their male counterparts, an increasing percentage of men are opting to leave their careers to care for their children full time. The decision to do so is a tough one, and should only be agreed on by both spouses after a careful deliberation. Financial woes continue to be a major cause of divorce, so before a dual income family becomes a single income household, steps should be taken to outline financial obligations, as well as stipulations regarding a divorce in the chance that the relationship comes to an end.
Couples who are already married will usually seek an attorney to help them draft a post-nuptial agreement before one spouse becomes a full time stay at home parent. A post-nuptial agreement is great for couples' whose financial situation is changing because it can allocate what money gets spent where, and how much is to be used for various expenses. A post-nuptial agreement can also include stipulations regarding when, or if, the stay at home spouse must return to work. For instance, a stipulation in the agreement can state that the working spouse agrees to fully support the stay at home parent until the child(ren) reach a certain age, which is when the stay at home spouse must seek either part- or full-time employment.
Post-nuptial agreements can also provide a tentative plan of action for child custody and support if the parents decide to separate or divorce in the future. While courts generally will not issue a judgment regarding an agreement made in a post-nuptial agreement for these factors, the document can be used as a reference or stepping stone for divorcing parents. Some divorces involve parties who are incredibly angry at one another, and they purposely want to cause their former spouse pain and suffering. One way this can be done is to restrict one parent's access to the children. In situations such as these, a post-nuptial agreement can be used as proof that both parents consented to a certain custody, visitation and support arrangement. The agreements can also be beneficial when it comes to the division of property and other assets during a divorce.
It is important to note that, due to alimony reform, a stay at home parent will most likely not receive permanent alimony if they get divorced from their spouse. This is why it is important for stay at home parents to maintain business contacts, sharpen professional skills, and have your own financial accounts. With half of all marriages in the United States ending in divorce, taking preventative measures to protect yourself and your children should be a top priority.
Divorce is rarely on the minds of couples on the cusp of starting a new family, but it is something that should be thought about. Just because a stay at home parent prepares for divorce doesn't mean that it will actually happen. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry. For more information on post-nuptial agreements, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C., for a free consultation. Not yet married, but looking to protect your assets before you tie the knot? Mr. Perskin regularly represents clients throughout New York City who are interested in signing prenuptial agreements. Call the friendly and knowledgeable staff at (646) 791-3228 or (718) 875-7584 today!