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Postnuptial agreements are on the rise, survey says

Many married couples in Louisiana have chosen to avoid making a prenuptial agreement. These agreements allow spouses to predetermine certain aspects of the divorce including spousal support and property division. Even though there have been many couples that chose not to make prenups, there is the postnuptial agreement, a similar document that is made some time after the marriage has begun but before it has ended.

According to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the number of postnuptial agreements being filed during the past three years has increased. More than 50 percent of attorneys surveyed reported an increase in postnups. Like prenups, postnuptial agreements can address many marital issues including probate, support, children, assets, property and financial matters. In addition to the number of attorneys reporting an increase in the use of the agreements, 36 percent of respondents said that wives are now making the requests.

These requests are often made when one spouse suddenly becomes more valuable - this may mean an increase in income or an unexpected inheritance. Postnuptial agreements, according to one expert from the AAML, are very helpful in regards to addressing serious conflicts that could later contribute to the dissolution of the marriage.

While 51 percent of AAML attorneys reported an increase in the number of requests for postnuptial agreements in the previous three years, 46 percent reported no change. With 36 percent reporting an increase in the number of women filing for the agreement, men seem to remain the majority when it comes to filing for this document. According to the AAML survey, 42 percent of lawyers said more men file, 10 percent reported more women filing and 48 percent said that there was no difference between the two sexes.

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can alleviate certain topics for a couple that elects to implement them. In addition, it can make a divorce much easier should the relationship turn sour.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "Postnuptial Agreements On The Rise Says Survey Of Nation's Top Divorce Lawyers," Sept. 10, 2012

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