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Rising request for prenuptial agreements by women

When Massachusetts's couples get married, they usually have a laundry list of things to consider, including whether to have a prenuptial agreement. Even though it is not an ideal topic to discuss, the reality is that divorce is an issue that should be noted. Whether a couple decides to have this discussion prior to marriage, during the marriage or when they decide to divorce, it is a common event to address. Drafting instruments such as a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement will help to avoid or reduce divorce legal issues and disputes.

A recent report indicated that prenuptial agreements are on the rise. Although these instruments are commonly associated with celebrities and the wealthy, it is a growing trend for women to request prenuptial agreements. Over the past three years, 63 percent of divorce attorneys noted an increase in prenuptial agreements. It was also reported that 46 percent of divorce attorneys claimed that women were the ones who initiated or requested that the instrument be drafted.

Whether the couple is wealthy or just seeks protection, the most common factors addressed in these instruments are alimony, property division and safeguarding separate property. Because it is a growing trend for divorcing couples to argue over who gets to keep the home, who gets what and if spousal support is available, these instruments help bypass these disputes because the instrument spells things out.

Not addressing these issues ahead of time can be a source of regret. Indeed, roughly 15 percent of divorced couples indicated that they regretted not having a prenuptial agreement so they could avoid these problems.

No matter the underlying reason, married couples should discuss the possibility of drafting a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement. This often protects the individuals and avoids divorce legal issues. Although these instruments are considered a safeguard, they might not address all future problems and divorce issues. Spouses should seek independent advice about any potential problems they see with these instruments so the issue can be addressed before the person has to experience them.

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

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