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Attitudes toward prenuptial agreements might be changing

Many couples enter marriage knowing that signing a prenuptial agreement is an option to help protect their assets, but others might be apprehensive to sign one or even consider the possibility of doing so. In some cases, there is an impression that signing a prenuptial agreement is counterintuitive to the idea of getting married or is something only for wealthy individuals. A recent poll suggests that these perceptions might be changing.

Recently, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released a survey of family law attorneys regarding trends in the frequency of requests for prenuptial agreements. Of those who responded, 63 percent of attorneys say they've seen an uptick in the number of prenuptial agreements made between soon-to-be wed couples during the last three years. Not only that, but slightly less than half of respondents said they've noticed that more women are making the requests.

This trend might suggest that more people are seeing the practical value of signing a prenuptial agreement. Even though a couple probably has no plans to get divorced at the outset of their marriage, creating a legal agreement is a form of insurance. This is especially important now that the values of property and assets are improving with the economy, which is noted by the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

In the event that divorce becomes the best option for a couple, both spouses can feel more confident that their assets will be protected if they have a prenuptial in place. As a result, much of the stress and tension associated with property division can be minimized.

The survey also revealed that couples are most commonly addressing separate property, alimony and property division in their prenuptial agreements, which makes sense. All of these components of divorce can be the source of contention, so couples can discuss them while they are thinking practically and without the distraction of long-standing conflicts

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements Are on the Rise, And More Women Are Requesting Them," Oct. 22, 2013

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