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New York couples choosing prenups

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time because of arguments about asset division, child custody and who will get to stay in the family home. One way that many couples are avoiding these battles is to set up a prenuptial agreement that may determine some of these issues in the case of a divorce. According to a survey of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 60 percent of the respondents reported seeing an increase in the demand for prenuptial agreements over the past three years, while nearly half saw an upturn in the number of women requesting these agreements.

The survey discovered that the main concerns addressed in these agreements were related to protecting separate property, alimony and division of assets. Some of the other topics covered included life and health insurance plans as well as the handling of pre-existing obligations that a partner may have to children or a former spouse from a previous marriage.

There are a few reasons that people are increasingly likely to request a prenuptial agreement. Women are now more engaged in the workforce and as a result have more assets to protect. Many couples are also well aware of the high rate of marriages that end in a divorce and thus may wish to plan in advance for that eventuality. Some attorneys also believe that couples are now more sophisticated about how they want to handle issues related to ending a marriage.

It is suggested that, prior to entering into a prenuptial agreement, a couple have a discussion on such items as how finances will be handled during the marriage. It is also recommended that the concept of a prenuptial agreement be introduced fairly early in the relationship rather than right before the wedding.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "More couples saying 'I do' to prenups", Time Grant, October 31, 2013

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