Prenuptial agreements were once believed to be reserved for the extremely wealthy and celebrities. However, in 2013, an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey revealed that 63 percent of divorce lawyers saw an increase in prenuptial agreements. Prenups are becoming more popular among millennials as well as the general population. While most prenuptial agreements were previously used by those with significant wealth or those who were marrying for a second time and wanted to protect assets for their children, modern prenuptial agreements are common among those who are marrying for the first time.
Prenuptial agreements can be simple arrangements stating that each spouse is entitled to keep the property he or she had before entering the marriage. Prenups can also specify that one spouse only gets a portion of the other spouse's assets if they remain married for a certain period of time. While all states recognize prenups, each state has different requirements for following through on them.
Most people sign prenups because they want control over how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements take this decision out of the hands of the court and let couples set their own terms in most cases. It is important to remember that prenuptial agreements do not determine custody arrangements.
Divorce is a complicated process that can be simplified if the couple entered into a prenuptial agreement before marriage. A family law attorney may be able to provide assistance with drafting a reasonable prenuptial agreement that can simplify the asset division process if a couple later chooses to divorce. A lawyer may also be able to assist with the separate issue of child custody, hidden assets and alimony payments.