Are marital contracts worthwhile for women about to marry?
Many California women dream of getting married and raising a family. For some, the idea of raising children and running a household is a dream. For others, the idea may be appealing, but they may be concerned that giving up a career will mean having less economic power that could haunt them later if their marriages end.
So what can a woman do to ensure that she has secure financial footing in the event of a divorce? Fortunately, both prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements offer some protection if a marriage ends. Prenuptial agreements have been well known for decades and are used by many prospective spouses, both male and female. However, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the number of people seeking postnuptial agreements is growing. A 2012 AAML survey found that 51 percent of the association’s attorneys had seen an increase in the number of clients seeking postnuptial agreements.
One expert says postnuptial agreements can be just as beneficial for women leaving their careers to become stay-at-home mothers as prenuptial agreements. A postnup can be made at any time during a marriage. Like a prenup, it can be a way to protect assets and safeguard a spouse from debts accumulated by the other. More important, a postnup can help a woman with financial planning in the event she separates or divorces from her husband. Although California’s community property law offers some protection for stay-at-home mothers, a postnup can add more specific protections and thus less stress in the event of divorce.
Few people entering marriage want their relationships to fail. However, being prepared for that possibility is unlikely to hurt a relationship. What could hurt is being unprepared and not having financial stability. After all, a woman’s financial footing after divorce will play a significant role in how she moves on.
Source: Daily Beast, “Why Stay-at-Home Moms Should Demand Postnuptial Agreements”, Keli Goff, Accessed on Dec. 11, 2014