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Report: Women increasingly asking for postnuptial agreements

No matter what the circumstances are, going through a divorce can be a lengthy and emotional process. In order to try to simplify the matter, many couples in Illinois choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which outlines how marital property should be divided upon ending the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can achieve the same goals, but the agreement is put together after a couple weds. For stay-at-home mothers, such a document can be an asset in the event of divorce.

Roughly two-thirds of stay-at-home mothers are married to spouses who are the sole income-earners, which could be problematic if either spouse wants a divorce. The data comes from the Pew Research Center, which reports that nearly 30 percent of mothers in the United States stay at home with the kids and do not have a job outside the home. That number is up 6 percent over the last decade. The majority of these women stay at home in order to care for their families, though a small percentage state that they cannot find work.

Women considering a postnuptial agreement to outline marital property division are not alone. In 2012, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a survey and found that women are increasingly requesting such agreements. More than half of the participating attorneys noted that more people have sought a postnuptial agreement over the last three years. The president of the AAML noted that a substantial change in the financial status of one spouse often prompts the request for an agreement. Wives increasingly leaving their jobs to be at home with children could account for the recent upswing in women seeking postnuptial agreements.

A postnuptial agreement may be especially useful for women who are choosing to leave their jobs to be at home with the kids. They will sacrifice earning an income and potentially encounter trouble when trying to re-enter the workforce. Should they secure a job, it is possible that these women will be earning less than they were prior to leaving the workforce. Having an agreement in place before any emotions are attached to the subject of divorce will ensure that the wife is properly compensated.

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