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Property, Alimony, and Retirement Top Items Says Survey of Nation’s Matrimonial Attorneys
Chicago, IL, October 28, 2015 – Half of divorce attorneys cited an increase in spouses seeking postnuptial agreements during the past three years, in a recent survey of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer (AAML) members. Postnups are voluntary legal contracts signed by couples who have already married and the top three items most commonly covered were selected as “property division” by 90% of respondents, “alimony/spousal maintenance” at 73% and “retirement accounts” with a 45% total.
“A postnuptial agreement is usually produced from some kind of serious strain or emotional fracture that directly impacts the marriage. It can represent a way for the spouses to move forward with a shared understanding about the ways in which certain subjects would be addressed in the event of a divorce,” said James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “The top items covered in a postnup are ones that typically cause the most stress and concern if a marriage enters a place of real uncertainty.”
If the need for a postnuptial agreement does arise from a fracture in the marriage, McLaren advises carefully considering whether you should bring an action against your spouse immediately or attempt to remedy the problem and facilitate reconciliation with a postnup. If you are responding to a request for a postnuptial agreement from an aggrieved spouse, McLaren strongly recommends that you carefully consider all options and not make a decision that could be influenced by guilt.
Overall, 50% of AAML members have cited an increase in the number of postnuptial agreements during the past three years, while 48% stated no change, and 2% saw a decrease. In addition to the top three postnup items selected, the next three most common coverage areas picked by respondents were “occupancy of the marital residence” at 30% followed by “counsel fees” at 14% with 7% noting “infidelity.”
Founded in 1962, the mission of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law.
Comprised of the top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation, members are recognized experts in the specialized areas of matrimonial law, including divorce, prenuptial agreements, legal separation, annulment, custody, property valuation and division, support, and the rights of unmarried couples. The AAML Fellows across the United States are generally recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill, and integrity and enjoy a reputation for professionalism, competence, and integrity.