The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab
Skokie and Libertyville

Rise in prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in Illinois and around the country. While this type of arrangement has traditionally been associated with high asset divorce cases, a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has revealed some interesting developments.

Of the divorce attorneys polled, 63 percent said that they had observed an increase in prenuptial agreements, and 46 percent noted that more women were requesting one. When asked about the reasons for these changes, the president of the AAML pointed to an economy that was improving after several years of recession. He observed that a struggling real estate market sometimes led to a situation where divorcing spouses would argue over who would be saddled with devalued property.

The AAML poll also highlighted the items most often included in a prenuptial agreement during the last three years. Couples asked their lawyers to draft agreements that provided for the division of property, spousal maintenance arrangements and separate property protections. Previous surveys have also indicated a changing attitude toward prenuptial agreements. A 2010 survey by Harris Interactive showed that 49 percent of divorced people and 44 percent of singles thought the arrangements were a good idea. The poll also revealed that 15 percent of those who had gone through a divorce regretted not having a prenuptial agreement in place.

Marrying couples hope that they will spend the rest of their lives together, but divorce statistics show that marital bliss often proves elusive. Family law attorneys may be able to help draft prenuptial agreements that not only protect their clients but may help to reduce the amount of animosity should the marriage fail. They may also be able to assist spouses who have previously entered into prenuptial agreements that may need modification.

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

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