According to a survey of divorce lawyers, prenuptial agreements are on the rise, and more women are requesting them. 60 percent of the lawyers surveyed reported that they have seen an increase in prenuptial agreements within the last three years, and 46 percent have seen more women asking for them. Most of those agreements deal with protecting separate properties, alimony and spousal support and property division.
A prenuptial agreement should be drafted only if both spouses, of their own free will, decide to do so. It should be brought up long before the wedding date so as not to surprise either partner. Additionally, property rights and alimony clauses in a prenuptial contract are not guaranteed. If a spouse contests the validity of the document or if the court deems its provisions invalid, the contract can be considered null.
A prenuptial agreement may lay out post-divorce responsibilities, the distribution of assets and the protection of separate assets. Beyond benefiting the couple, a prenuptial agreement can also protect the children of a previous marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement usually cannot decide any terms of child support or custody.
Couples in Worcester, Massachusetts, and elsewhere in the country, may accumulate a complex portfolio of assets over time. If complicated issues about the division of property, such as asset valuation or the discovery hidden assets, are expected or possible, it may be a good idea to consider having a prenuptial agreement drafted. In any case, because divorce can happen at any time after the ceremony, it is best to be prepared.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “More Couples Saying ‘I Do’ to Prenups,” Tim Grant, Oct. 31, 2013