A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement can relieve anxieties and fears for couples who have decided that one partner should be the stay-at-home parent. What happens to the stay-at-home parent who gives up a career and then faces divorce some years later? Can this parent without a relevant work history count on alimony?
Couples make their intentions for the future known on paper, especially given that alimony awards in Florida are reminiscent of the Wild West. A marital contract, whether a prenup or a postnup, is essential.
While no one enters a marriage already assuming divorce, everyone should be a realist and a pragmatist. Both spouses should relieve tension surrounding the possibility of spousal support becoming a destructive force in either person’s life (i.e. getting too little to sustain one’s usual lifestyle or paying so much that one’s quality of life is compromised).
The stay-at-home spouse gives up the most essential, productive years of working, including years spent building the foundation of one’s career, promotions, making contacts, creating a resume that translates into increasing salaries, and making the most money. Remember the spouse chosen to be the stay-at-home parent gives up all or a substantial portion of benefits, retirement, and income that includes the raises and bonuses that would have occurred had the person remained in the workforce. The stay-at-home parent often loses the chance to build one’s own business as well.
If you intend to continue to be a stay-at-home parent after divorce, your prenup or postnup must be drafted to sustain you and to claim your ex-partner’s future earnings toward your needs. Attention should be given not only to the terms for post-divorce life, but to support and conduct during the period of separation.
Some assets should be designated for the stay-at-home mom or the stay-at-home dad, and your agreement should clarify if the SAHM/SAHD and children will remain in the marital home.
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