Married, working couples in Dallas are likely to struggle with one question that is common throughout the country today. When they have children, will one spouse quit working to stay home and take care of them? Many married and even engaged couples do decide to go this route, but far too few are aware that a postnuptial agreement is something well worth considering at that point in their marriage.

Take the traditional scenario of a successful working couple who have their first child, and decide that the mother should quit her job to raise the family. After a number of years, resentment can build up on both sides of this equation. The wife may regret abandoning a rewarding career; the husband may find the financial responsibility overwhelming.

When a couple like this gets a divorce, a wife may expect to be provided for through alimony and child support for the children. After all, that is what alimony is supposed to do: make up for any unfair economic effects of a divorce. But the fact is that more and more courts today are leaning towards temporary, or “rehabilitative,” alimony designed just to help a partner get back into the job force. Never mind that the new job is unlikely to be on par with the former career.

When couples make a decision in the course of their marriage like one giving up a career to stay at home with kids, a postnuptial agreement can help them avoid this type of scenario. Texas law allows postnuptial agreements to protect assets the couple acquired together, as well as to lay out each spouse’s property rights should the marriage end. This includes alimony and other financial provisions.

Like with prenuptial agreements, couples may feel as if there is some kind of stigma associated with discussing the possible end of a marriage and planning through a postnuptial agreement. But particularly for a spouse who is giving up a career, this important discussion can help avoid alimony disputes and far more difficult challenges in the future.


Source: Forbes, “Deciding To Become A Stay-At-Home Mom? Consider This Cautionary Tale,” Jeff Landers, May 29, 2014