Traditionally, the purpose of prenuptial agreements has been to protect the family money of one spouse. The family didn’t want the new spouse to have a chance at that trust fund or inheritance upon divorce. Today, however, the more important purpose may be to protect the financial support of a stay at home parent.
When married spouses have children and one of them leaves a paid job to stay home and take care of the children, the stay at home parent is not just leaving a job, and a salary, and paid benefits, but that spouse is leaving a future job, future salary, job contacts, professional networking, and so on. After being home for, say, ten years taking care of children, the work place is guaranteed to be fundamentally different than when the stay at home parent last worked. Old skills and training will be far behind the curve, and the stay at home parent will be ten years older. It’s NOT so simple as just going back to the same job.
And even if it is, that spouse will have lost ten years of wages, benefits, retirement contributions, promotions, and so on.
But a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement – written with an eye toward providing for support for the stay at home parent upon divorce – can provide fair support that will allow that spouse to make up for the years out of the work force. Nice article about this topic here: