Why a Stay at Home Mother Needs a Postnuptial Agreement


When a woman makes the decision to leave the workforce to focus on raising her children, she's not typically thinking of what would happen during a Pasadena divorce. But stay at home mothers are placed in an especially vulnerable position if their marriage falls apart.

Even a short break from the workforce can have a serious impact on a woman's earning potential. Many fields rely heavily on technology or require continuing education to keep professional licenses and certifications. If a woman quits her job when her first child is born, she might struggle to find work once he leaves for kindergarten. The exact financial toll of being a stay at home mother is hard to estimate, but several studies have found that a college educated woman can pay a "mommy tax" of $1 million or more.

A postnuptial agreement offers much of the same protection as a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed after you have already married your spouse. A postnuptial agreement can ensure that you'll be awarded spousal support and/or certain marital assets which would help you get back on your feet after a divorce. The agreement provides a way for you to formally state that you both agreed that you would stay home to raise your children, which prevents your spouse from arguing that you deserve a smaller settlement because you refused to seek suitable employment.

A 2012 survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 51 percent of divorce attorneys have seen an increase in couples asking for a postnuptial agreement. The survey found that 36 percent of these requests were initiated by women, many of whom wanted to protect themselves after choosing to stay at home with their children.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you have questions about drawing up a postnuptial agreement. Our Pasadena family law firm can help you create an agreement that makes sure you won't be penalized for staying home with your children.