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The Rise of the Prenuptial Agreement - Part 2

In our last post we discussed the changing perspective of prenuptial agreements from feeling like it was a plan for divorce and property division to it being a plan to protect assets. In this post we will continue to talk about the reasons for the rise in prenuptial agreements.

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 73 percent of the lawyers surveyed cited a rise in prenuptial agreements over the last five years. The same survey also revealed that more women are requesting prenuptial agreements.

More women are requesting prenuptial agreements because it is believed that more women are bringing assets into marriages. According to one family law attorney, women are also planning 15 or 20 years into the future because they want to be protected if they end up going through a divorce. Another factor in the increase of prenuptials is second marriages. People that have experienced the financial and emotional tolls of divorce want to avoid those same costs if divorce happens a second time. Prenuptials are not only for second marriages, their use is also climbing among first time marriages.

The age of couples marrying for the first time has risen over the last two decades. The average age of men marrying for the first time has risen by two years to 26.8, and the average age of women marrying for the first time has increased by three years to 25.1. With the rise in age comes a greater ability to have gained assets before marriage, and with a greater amount of assets there is a greater need to protect those assets if the marriage sours.

You also do not have to have a huge amount of assets to want to protect what you have. Inheritances can lead to prenups and the potential property division of a shared cabin can also lead to prenuptial use. The recession has also affected people's finances. With lower amounts of savings and smaller investments, the desire to protect what assets are left has also increased the use of prenuptials.

Source: The Seattle Times, "More Couples Saying "I do" to Prenuptial Agreements," Jeff Strickler, 10/13/10

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