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Divorce and prenuptial agreements

Readers may have heard of the seven-year itch. In terms of marital happiness, the seven-year milestone may represent a turning point or a hallmark of marital stability and bliss. 

However, a family law attorney knows that divorce can affect couples at any point, and recent data also proves this conventional knowledge to be wrong. Specifically, data collected by the US Census Bureau in its annual American Community Survey indicates that divorce rates are picking up even in long-term marriages. In addition, divorce rates are increasing among couples in older age brackets, as well. In fact, even individuals in their 60s or who are retired are divorcing at higher rates than before. 

Given these trends in divorce, it is more important than even before to utilize some of the protections offered by divorce law. A prenuptial agreement is one way to do that. An attorney can draft a proposed agreement for couples well before their marriage, allowing them enough time to talk through issues of property division and debt liability. If there are children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can also address issues like inheritance rights. An attorney can also answer questions about the logistics of how a prenuptial agreement works, including its enforceability in the event of a dispute. 

Of course, circumstances may change, warranting a revision of terms in a prenuptial agreement. Agreements of the parties made during a marriage can be legally memorialized in a postnuptial agreement. Changes may also result in a couple growing apart. With a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, the process of going through a divorce may well prove to be much smoother. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Is the US Divorce Rate Going Up Rather Than Going Down?" Robert Hughes, Jr. March 11, 2014

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