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More couples seeking postnuptial agreements, poll finds

Divorce attorneys are still reporting an increase in requests for postnuptial agreements, according to a new poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

“Postnuptial agreements are becoming a valuable tool to avoid trouble spots from escalating into serious conflicts that can jeopardize a marriage,” said Ken Altshuler, president of the AAML, in a news release reporting the results of the poll.

Postnuptial agreements are contracts between spouses that can address a wide variety of important issues, including conflicts over finances, property, assets, children, support and probate matters. In the new poll, 51 percent of AAML members reported an increase in postnuptial agreements during the past three years. By comparison, in a 2010 poll by the AAML, 73 percent of divorce attorneys reported an increase in such agreements.

Significantly, in the new poll, 36 percent of respondents noted an increase in wives initiating the requests for postnuptial agreements.

In trying to explain the increase in wives requesting “postnups,” Altshuler said that “often one of the most common motivators for these agreements is a dramatic change in the financial status of one or both partners during the marriage.”

While 51 percent of respondents reported a greater demand for postnuptial agreements, 46 percent experienced no change in demand. Forty-two percent of respondents reported that men are the most likely party to seek postnuptial agreements, while 48 percent reported no difference between the sexes in that regard.

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