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Ways stay-at-home moms can protect their financial futures

In years past, women in America were not afforded many of the same opportunities readily enjoyed by men. Today, however, access to equal opportunities in education and employment has resulted in many women having successful and lucrative careers.

Regardless of personal success, many women long for the personal success which is often fulfilled by motherhood. For those women who choose to put a career on hold to stay home and raise a child, both the benefits and costs can be great and the decision to drop out of the workforce can have unforeseen financial implications, particularly in cases when a marriage ends in divorce.

A 2012 survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers noted that more than 50 percent of divorce attorneys in the U.S. report seeing an increase in the number of clients seeking postnuptial agreements. In recent years, prenuptial agreements among engaged couples have become more popular as individuals intending to marry aim to protect those assets brought to a marriage.

Once in a marriage, a postnuptial agreement can help an individual protect assets as well as establish terms for how assets or compensation should be awarded in the event a couple chooses to divorce. For stay-at-home moms, who previously earned their own money, a postnuptial agreement can provide financial security and peace of mind.

There is no job more important than being a parent and raising a child. Mothers, who have the option to leave the workforce to focus solely on raising children, should be allowed to do so without later paying the price if a marriage doesn't last. When possible, couples should discuss matters related to child care prior to marrying and take these considerations into account in a prenuptial agreement. In cases where these important decisions were not made prior to a marriage, a postnuptial agreement can accomplish the same goals.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Why Stay-at-Home Moms Should Demand Postnuptial Agreement," Keli Goff, Dec. 3, 2013

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