If you are getting married and have a loose arrangement in place that one parent stays at home to care for any future children while the other works, it is a good idea to consider a prenuptial agreement. Such agreements ease the strain on the marriage by providing reassurance that both spouses will be taken care of financially.
But what if you got married without such an agreement? No worries; you can still draw up what is called a postnuptial agreement. In any case, here are a few tips for couples where one parent stays at home.
Respect each other
If both parents want to stay at home or both wish to work, that could be grounds for resentment down the road. Even if one parent is fine working while the other stays at home, both parents could have the mindset of, “My spouse has it easy.” Both parties should recognize the contributions such an arrangement brings. For example, having a spouse at home means the working parent does not need to miss valuable work time for sick children and can work late. Conversely, the stay-at-home parent does not need to stress about making ends meet.
In the most successful arrangements, both parents value each other’s contributions, and the prenuptial agreement reflects that fact. Such an agreement can also give peace of mind to working parents that if a split occurs, they will still get time with their children and that joint custody is not ruled out just because one parent has stayed at home for years.
Work with a lawyer
It is possible to do these agreements yourself. However, many experts advise against it because the agreement may end up containing vague language or even language that contradicts its intentions. It may also skip important considerations. In the long run, an attorney can help you and your spouse save money by helping to draft a reliable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.