Postnuptial agreements gaining in popularity

By September 25, 2012Divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Divorce on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Almost everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement, and now the trend is heading towards post-“I do” legal arrangements. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 51 percent of their members have seen an increase in post-nups over the last three years. Couples with significant assets or hard-to-divide property are finding it more convenient to wait until after the ceremony to start figuring out what to do in case something goes wrong with the marriage.

Interestingly, 36 percent of the requests for postnuptial agreements originate with the wife. Why couples are deciding to forego the traditional pre-nup remains an unanswered question. Perhaps the idea of sitting down with attorneys and planning for a divorce ahead of the wedding takes some of the romance out of the event. Another possible reason is it gives couples time to discuss the matter without having to complete an agreement under time pressure.

Significant changes in financial status are the most common reason for preparing a postnuptial agreement and most of the time, men take the first step. Forty two percent of post-nups start with the husband, according to the survey. In 2009, the latest year for which statistics are available, 23,300 Missouri couples ended their marriages. The state’s marriage rate continues to outpace the divorce rate, but still, cautious couples are sitting down and working out a wide variety of arrangements from finance to property to assets to child custody to spousal support. Experts say these issues are better handled before the emotional tempest that comes with the dissolution of a marriage.

Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, “Postnuptial agreements on the rise says survey of nation’s top divorce lawyers,” Sep. 10, 2012