People choose to sign prenuptial agreements for many different reasons. They might have property they want to protect or may want to avoid conflict after watching what happened with their parents when they were young.
Many couples use prenuptial agreements to limit the risk to either spouse in specific circumstances. Often, the focus could be on specific property, like a future inheritance that someone wants to protect. They can also provide economic protection in specific circumstances. Prenuptial agreements can also provide very important protection for someone who is opting to be a stay-at-home parent.
How a prenuptial agreement can help stay-at-home parents
It costs a lot of money to hire childcare professionals like nannies, and even daycare can cost hundreds of dollars a week. Parents who stay home with their children save the family thousands and probably provide a better standard of support than childcare professionals would offer.
However, the parent who stays home sacrifices not only their income while they are out of the workforce but also career development during those years. They may forever limit their earning potential by giving up years of professional development. If they divorce later, they may have a far lower standard of living than the spouse who continued working.
A prenuptial agreement helps reduce the economic risk involved in being a stay-at-home parent. Spouses can agree preemptively to certain conditions for support or property division based on the financial sacrifices someone makes to stay home and raise the children.
The best prenuptial agreements offer something of value to both spouses and make it clear what could happen in the event of a divorce. Discussing the need for financial protection may help people feel more confident about committing to a marriage.