The idea of signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might feel like it sends a message that you have no confidence in the strength of your marriage. But in fact, married couples can greatly benefit from these agreements. For instance, if you decide you want to stay at home and raise the kids, a postnuptial agreement may be of assistance.
Composing a postnuptial agreement does not mean you expect your marriage to fail. Such agreements can offer important protections to both parties, especially if you are your spouse have considerable disparities in income or debt. If you decide to become a stay-at-home parent during your marriage, a postnuptial agreement can help to ensure you’ll remain financially solvent if your relationship heads south.
Providing for a stay-at-home parent
When you first got married, you and your spouse may both have had full-time jobs. But once you started having children, that equation may have changed. Now you want to stay home and take care of the children. However, by leaving the workforce, you’ll naturally lose out on collecting income. This can create a problem if a divorce occurs down the road – as you may encounter challenges re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus.
To address this issue, you can create a postnuptial agreement. If you and your spouse divorce later on, you will still have access to financial resources per the agreement. Making this provision can help inspire confidence that you will not face financial ruin if your marriage ends.
Clarifying other financial issues
A postnuptial agreement can benefit you and your spouse in other ways, as well. If your spouse carries a significant amount of debt, you could become accountable for some of that debt in a divorce. You can help prevent this from happening by clarifying that you will not share in your spouse’s personal debt if you should divorce. A postnup can also clear up the status of the separate property you each own, so that a divorce would not divide it up.
Ultimately creating a pre- or postnuptial agreement makes good practical sense. You wouldn’t go into business with your best friend without creating a business agreement. Why should entering into marriage with your best friend be any different?