Archive for the 'Agreements' Category

Postnuptial Agreements

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

In the past few years, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the number of couples seeking postnuptial agreements during their marriage has increased.

The AAML poll found that 51 percent of divorce attorneys reported more couples signing the agreements, which function as contracts describing the ownership of property.

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they determine who gets what after a divorce, among other provisions. A previous AAML survey found that attorneys had also seen a rise in postnups from 2002 to 2007.

AAML President Kenneth Altshuler says couples write postnuptial agreements when “there’s been a dramatic change in the financial circumstances of one party. If you win the lottery, or somebody all of a sudden inherits a large sum of money, or someone inherits a business from their family.”

In a perfect world, the couple might hope to share the new asset in perpetuity during a long and happy marriage. In reality, divorces happen and spouses can save an expensive and acrimonious court battle in the unfortunate event that they separate if they make it clear exactly who owns what.

The specter of divorce can actually spur the signing of a postnup — the other reason Altshuler cites. “Typically there’s got to be something not going overly well in the marriage. All of a sudden, they start thinking, ‘Wow, if this doesn’t work out, this is going to become a major problem. Let’s talk about now what will happen so we avoid fighting about it we get a divorce.’”

Prenuptial Agreements

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Most experts think prenuptial agreements are most common for second marriages; however, numbers show that a large number of people younger than 35 are getting prenuptial agreements.

Prenuptial Agreements describe the terms and conditions governing the division of property following a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are most popular for the following age brackets among people 26 to 32, with 23 percent of the clients seeking prenuptial agreements.

Here is a breakdown by age of these seeking prenuptial agreements: 18-25, 11 percent; 26-32, 23 percent; 33-39, 21 percent; 40-46, 18 percent; 47-53, 14 percent; 54-60, 6 percent; 61-67, 2 percent
; and 68 and above, 1 percent.

The median age for a first marriage in the United States is 26. Most second marriages (i.e. where at least one of the spouses has been married before) occur after the age of 35.

A Good Idea for the Second Time Around

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The stereotype of a much older man (a “sugar daddy”) with a much younger women (a “gold digger”) is very often with foundation. Some men go into marriages in their sunset years looking for a younger woman who will take care of them, and very often these men protect themselves and their first families with a prenuptial agreement, a legal contract signed by the antique groom and the youthful bride before marriage, typically limiting the spouse’s rights to property and inheritance in the event of divorce.

“Prenups,” as they called, are often recommended for second (or subsequent) marriages when older spouses have property and adult children from early marriages. These agreements afford both parties a measure of protection because if the marriage in the sunset years crashes, the assets are already divided. Everyone is protected.

Prenuptial agreements work particularly well in marriages between an older man and a younger woman because when the “sugar daddy” is significantly older than the new wife, she is virtually certain to outlive him.

Even with these agreements, the parties must take care of their assets. For example, couples taint their assets by commingling them. For example, with or without a prenuptial agreement, a couple who put his money in their account make that money their money.

Good legal advice is a must in writing a prenuptial agreement. In general such agreements must be “fair and reasonable.” And even with a prenuptial agreement, a spouse normally makes some reasonable provision for a second partner in a will. In other words, in death one partner is not free to leave the other partner destitute and penniless by virtue of a premarital agreement in favor of his or her adult children.

At least 25 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which defines the terms and conditions of such agreements. UPAA provides that premarital agreements must meet the requirements of procedural fairness, fair financial disclosure and proper legal advice.