New Jersey residents are aware that prenuptial agreements can be made that determine how divorce proceedings will go if a couple splits up. It has been generally held that once a couple is married, if they do not have a prenup and they get a divorce, it will be up to lawyers and the court system to divide assets and determine who has custody of children. However, nearly all states now recognize post nuptial agreements, which do the same things that prenuptial agreements do.
The number of postnups has risen in the last few years. According to the results of a survey done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 51 percent of divorce lawyers saw an increase in postnups between 2009 and 2012. The most common reasons that couples look for a postnup are that the couple did not want to wait to get married and did not have enough time to set up a prenup, that an inheritance has changed the assets available to the couple or that a couple is trying to save their marriage.
Divorce lawyers are expecting to see an increase in both prenups and postnups following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Many same sex couples will be looking to get married, and they will likely want to protect their assets from a divorce. Postnups are also expected to become more common as same sex couples rush to get married before they have time to draw up a prenup.
How a couple’s assets are divided if they divorce can be a huge deal, and a prenup can take a lot of acrimony out of the process. A lawyer could help someone understand what is involved in a prenup or postnup.
Source: NBC News, “If you ran out of time for a prenup agreement, try a postnup“, Kelley Holland, July 05, 2013