Prenuptial agreements: protecting more than married couples

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recent studies have indicated that fewer people in certain demographic groups are getting married. By not getting married, they can avoid not only lifetime commitments, but also the possibility of getting divorced.

It doesn’t mean that they entirely avoid the possibility of difficult legal disputes over child custody, child support and distribution of property, however.

CNN reports that one way cohabitating couples try to diminish the prospects of those kinds of battles is by signing prenuptial agreements.

Family law attorneys help the couples draw up the legally binding contracts that can include agreements on child custody and support requirements, as well as protections of both parties’ assets.

The president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said his group has observed “a real dramatic increase” in the numbers of prenups sought by couples living together.

“A lot more people are delaying, or forgoing, marriage and people are realizing as you get older, you have more things to protect,” he said.

A poll conducted last year by the group showed that 39 percent of family law firm surveyed had seen an increase in cohabitation agreements in the past five years. Seventy percent of the 1,600 surveyed lawyers said the majority of those agreements were negotiated and signed by heterosexual couples, rather than same-sex couples.

Nearly half of the attorneys said they’d also seen an escalation in legal fights between couples who had lived together but not married.

The best way to draw up an agreement that will protect you, your children and your assets is to talk to an experienced family law attorney.

Source: CNN: “Prenups aren’t just for married couples anymore,” Jessica Dickler, March 20, 2012

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