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In Illinois and elsewhere, two-income households have become increasingly common. But some couples choose to live on only one income when they have a child. For the parent who gives up their job to become a stay-at-home parent, the decision is full of both rewards and risks. Before making the leap, however, the stay-at-home parent should consider a few questions.

First, how will going from two incomes to one change the family dynamics? This answer will vary from relationship to relationship, but the stay-at-home parent needs to think about how becoming financially dependent will alter the relationship.

Second, how likely is the relationship to end in divorce? Divorce is not a fun topic to consider, but it is far too common to ignore. Because of that, it is important to think through the odds of the relationship surviving and, if not, the impact becoming a stay-at-home parent would have in a post-divorce setting.

And, third, how will the move to stay-at-home status affect a career outlook? Naturally, this will depend on a variety of factors, but one of the easier factors to evaluate is the amount of time out of the workforce. The longer that period of time the more it will likely limit career options when trying to make a comeback.

Considering these questions underscores the financial risks that stay-at-home parents take. Fortunately, the stay-at-home parent can mitigate much of the risk by opting for a postnuptial agreement.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement. It is a legal document that sets out a couple’s property division and expectations should a divorce occur. The big difference is a postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage rather than before.

Source: Forbes, “Why You Need A Postnup And Other Points To Consider Before Leaving Your Paid Job To Be A Stay-At-Home Mom,” Jeff Landers, Jan. 22, 2014