Should stay-at-home moms sign a postnup?

Are postnuptial agreements the best way to compensate stay-at-home moms? Jennifer Pinarski isn't so sure.

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Photo: iStockphoto

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

You’ve heard of prenuptial agreements — but what about postnuptial agreements? I have to admit, before I’d read the recent article by The Daily Beast’s Keli Goff, I hadn’t heard of it, either. They’re apparently agreements signed after a couple has married or entered into a civil union, and are meant to settle disagreements over children, finances and other assets. According to Goff, they are the next big thing among the 1 percent. Using Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng’s recent marital split as an example, Goff suggests that wives should consider a postnuptial agreement — especially stay-at-home moms.

Goff presents a solid case: by giving up a career to raise their children, women lose out on the money they would have otherwise earned independently — which easily adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost salaries. Factor in missed opportunities for career advancement, networking and continuing education, that number could potentially be even higher. Despite the argument that stay-at-home moms should earn a salary (pegged at more than $115,000 by Salary.com), the reality is that being a stay-at-home mom does have financial risks, not only for the family, but especially the mother should her marriage end in divorce.

Read more: Should stay-at-home moms receive a salary? > 

Long before my husband and I were married, we discussed signing a prenuptial agreement and then decided against it. In our early 20’s at the time, we had few financial assets and we laughed that if our marriage ended, we’d be splitting debt — not assets. Now with children and considerably more assets (and debt), I can’t picture us signing a postnup, despite the fact that Goff lays out her reasons for SAHMs in particular.

Have you and your partner discussed postnups? If you’re a SAHM, would you consider one? Tweet me @jenpinarski.

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