Even the best laid plans can be easily derailed by reality. For example, many Illinois couples plan for both partners to continue working after they have children. But once kids are in the picture those plans might change. It is not uncommon for one parent — quite often the mother — to leave the workforce and stay home with the kids. In these situations, stay-at-home parents should be vigilant about protecting their rights to alimony and marital assets after a divorce.
No matter how personally fulfilling a parent might find being a full-time caregiver for the kids, leaving the workforce puts him or her at a significant financial disadvantage. While it might not seem like a big deal at the time, addressing that disadvantage in a postnuptial agreement can make sure it does not snowball into a serious problem during divorce. Perhaps one of the most important things to address in a postnup is that the decision to stay home was made jointly.
This can help support a stay-at-home parent’s argument that his or her non monetary contributions were still of significant value. In particular by supporting a spouse’s career, giving him or her the opportunity to advance. Demonstrating this is essential for securing a fair share of the marital assets. Otherwise, a judge might be inclined to award a larger share to the working spouse.
There are many times in which making the right decision for the moment can have greater impact on the future. Illinois parents cannot exactly predict whether they will file for divorce years down the line, well after one parent has already left the workforce. Even if a marital relationship feels strong, it never hurts to get a prenuptial agreement. This can secure a stay-at-home parent’s access to alimony and property, giving him or her financial peace of mind.