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Chicago, IL, October 16, 2013 - A clear majority of 63% of divorce attorneys cited an increase in prenuptial agreements during the past three years in a recent survey of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer (AAML) members. The top three items most commonly covered in prenups throughout this period of time were noted as “protection of separate property” by 80% of respondents, “alimony/spousal maintenance” at 77% and “division of property” with a 72% total. Interestingly enough, 46% also noted an increase in women initiating requests for these agreements.
“As the financial and real estate markets continue to improve, there is a greater awareness of risk to possibly sharing these gains in a divorce,” said Alton Abramowitz, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “The trend of divorcing spouses fighting over which one has to take possession of a devalued home and other depreciated assets appears to be coming to an end.”
Before having a prenuptial agreement drawn up, Abramowitz recommends couples effectively cover a number of basics. First, clearly define how expenses are going to be shared and if there will be joint or separate bank accounts. Also, make a decision about where you will be living and who will own the home. Have a detailed discussion about future career plans and determine if one spouse might possibly stop working once children arrive. Other recommendations are to define how your estate will be eventually handled, and cover any preexisting obligations one partner might have to previous spouses, other children and extended family.
Overall, 63% of AAML members have cited an increase in the number of prenuptial agreements during the past three years, while 36% stated no change, and 1% saw a decrease. In addition to the top three prenup items selected, the next three most common coverage areas picked by respondents were “protection of the increase of value in separate property” at 62% followed by “inheritance rights” at 39% with 23% choosing “community property division.”
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.