Along with the increase in couples getting prenuptial agreements in recent years, there has been an rise in postnuptial agreements. Family law attorneys surveyed on postnups say that over a third of their clients who initiate these agreements are women.
Recouping the "Mommy Tax"
One of the key reasons that wives seek postnups is that they've chosen to leave the workforce to stay home and raise their children. Many of these women are giving up a significant amount of money in potential earnings. This has been dubbed a "mommy tax." Women in high-paying jobs who take some years off to be home for their children could be forfeiting $1 million or more in earnings.
Part of this earnings loss is reflected in the ground they lose in the workforce while they're away. It's often not easy to pick up where they left off and get the same kind of salary they were making when they left.
You Can Lose Considerable Ground While Out of the Workforce
As one financial expert points out, they may never be able to recoup the money lost while they were out of the workforce during what could potentially be their most productive years. He says, "Besides the fact that you're losing all of your contacts and networking opportunities, your resume is going to have a huge gap on it, your skills, with changes in technology and social media. You may not be prepared 10 years later to come back close to anywhere where you were before."
Many people consider it admirable when parents (men or women) stay home to be with their children during their formative years if they are in a financial position to do so. However, whether you have a prenup going into the marriage or not, it's essential that if you become financially dependent on your spouse and sacrifice your own earning potential, you take steps via a postnuptial agreement to protect yourself financially in the event of a divorce.
Broaching the subject of a prenup is rarely easy, and asking for a postnup may be even more difficult. Your family law attorney can give you some strategies for talking with your spouse about the need for a postnup if you leave the workforce to care for your children.
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