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Postnuptial Agreements Gaining PopularityMany TV shows and plays have had their fun with the topic of prenuptial agreements and what the topic
calls to mind; namely, gold diggers, schemers, and black widows. Its a concept dating back to Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew so certainly nothing new. But with the rising trend of post-nuptial agreements, the image of prenups and postnups may change.

Postnuptial agreements outline the division of assets, custody of children, and more in the event of
a divorce. What makes them different from prenuptial agreements is the simple fact that the couple
drafts and signs the document after they are married. Currently, the only state to not acknowledge
postnuptial agreements is Ohio. That fact is a bit of a misnomer as Ohio divorce forms are one of the most widely searched and purchased forms on the website.

Back to the subject at hand, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) reported
postnuptial agreement signing to be on the rise. In the past three years, 51% of divorce lawyers noted a
rise in postnuptial agreements, to be exact. Another fascinating tidbit: The AAML reported was that 36%
of postnuptial agreements were brought into the marriage by the wives.

With about 50% of marriages ending in divorce, realists entering a marriage welcome postnuptial
agreements. That is until the actual document drafting takes place. Discussing the possible, but
completely unwanted, demise of a young marriage can often lead to awkward impasses and tense
silences. Just image the conversation now: “What do you mean you’d give Fido a better home?!”
or “You can’t keep my mother’s wedding present if you cheat on me!” How could two newlyweds
possibly discuss the future without being enraged or reduced to tears? Well, there are a few bits of
advice that can help.

1) Firstly, ponder alone what you would do in the event of a divorce. Include the array of scenarios
of a marriage gone bad, and take this quiet and peaceful time to think about how you would
want to handle yourself. It’s easy in the heat of the moment to go for the jugular, but ask
yourself how you would want to remember your divorce; smugly while tapping your spouse dry,
peaceably while wishing each other well, or some area in between. We touched on this earlier in our divorce advice blog about post-divorce amicability.

2) When you are prepared to sit down with your new spouse, bring your list of wants, needs, and
demands. Allow the discussion to take as long as it has to, but if the discussion takes a turn for
the worst it’s best to step back and schedule a time to meet again.

3) If the two of you are running into roadblocks in your discussions, maybe reach out to someone
who can mediate. Therapists are trained mediators who are qualified to maintain an unbiased
opinion and guide clients through tough times. Also, if you and your spouse find it difficult to get
the conversation going about this dark topic, a therapist can help free up the communication

4) Remember to start your marriage off right with full disclosure about all your debt, assets, and
overall financial situation. Laying all everything on the table will make drafting the postnuptial
document easier and will make the document that much stronger in court in the event that one of you chooses to file for divorce.

5) Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns about drafting or signing the agreement, seek out
assistance from an attorney or family lawyer. These professional will have insights, strategies,
and situations you may never have thought about.

Postnuptial agreements, and prenuptial agreements, are not supposed to be a legal slap in the face.
These documents simply make muddy waters clear. With postnuptial agreements on the rise, maybe
the positive association will be the tide to raise all boats. Maybe prenuptial agreements will finally stop
getting such a bad rep. too. As one couple put it, implementing a nuptial agreement is like bringing a life
vest when going boating. “You don’t anticipate using it, but you want it there.”


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