When preparing for a wedding, most are focused on the details of the day, such as finding the perfect flowers and deciding how to diplomatically arrange everyone for dinner. Increasingly, though, many are adding prenuptial agreements to the list of things to contemplate before the big day arrives. According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 73 percent of family law attorneys report an increase in the number of premarital agreements over the past five years.
Though premarital agreements were once considered the domain of the wealthy, people from all backgrounds are coming to realize that these agreements can be incredibly beneficial.
Despite the vows of “till death do us part,” many marriages end in divorce, and many people entering marriages recognize this fact. A prenuptial agreement can help to avoid costly and drawn out divorce proceedings.
Such an agreement allows a couple to determine the terms of a hypothetical future separation when they are on good terms. This is generally easier than agreeing upon a plan for separation when a marriage is ending, relationships are strained and tensions are running high.
If instead, the marriage lasts forever, the premarital agreement simply becomes irrelevant. There is no disadvantage to having such an agreement in place.
Factors Contributing to the Increase in Prenuptial Agreements
Beyond the fact that the agreements simply make sense, circumstantial factors may contribute to the rise in pre-nups. In many cases, people are entering second or third marriages. After going through a difficult divorce once, people may be more inclined to take precautionary steps just in case the marriage does not last.
Even for those entering first marriages, the average age of marriage is rising. In turn, those who are getting married have had more time to accumulate assets, and therefore may have a greater interest in protecting these assets.
For anyone preparing for a wedding, it is at least important to consider a prenuptial agreement. Regardless of whether you ultimately want such an agreement, it is important to understand your options. Speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss your circumstances and the steps you can take to protect your interests.