When we think of prenuptial agreements, often the first thing that comes to mind is a celebrity or a business mogul like Donald Trump. However, a recent study done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) shows that prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous anymore.

Often times, property division is one of the most contested aspect of a divorce, whether or not the couple has substantial assets. Sometimes called antenuptial agreements, premarital contracts or simply prenups, prenuptial agreements are contracts entered into before marriage between spouses. The agreements detail how property will be divided in the event of a divorce.

The AAML study reported that 73 percent of attorneys have seen an increase in prenuptial agreements over the past 5 years. Of the attorneys who responded, 52 percent also saw an increase in women requesting prenuptial agreements. Why the increase? Are people becoming less trusting in the 21st century?
Possibly, but the increase in prenups has more to do with the economic situations of the parties. Many of the people requesting prenuptial agreements are entering a second marriage after a previous divorce. They have been through one property division contest, and would like to avoid another.
However, prenuptial agreements are not just for remarrying people. Many people tying the knot for the first time are requesting prenups as well. Since 1980, we have seen the average age that people marry for the first time increase. For men, the average age has climbed two years and is now at 26.8 years old. For women, the average age has increased three years and is now 25.1 years old.

People are not marrying immediately after school as much, and are spending more time working before marrying. This gives people an opportunity to earn more, and bring more property to a marriage. When people bring more assets to a marriage, they want to protect them.

Whenever a couple divorces, a court must divide their property between the spouses. While prenups are a good tool to prevent property fights, they can often be subject to interpretation by the courts. Whether or not you have a prenuptial agreement, experienced family law attorneys understand Georgia marital property law, and can help you understand your property rights.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune: More couples saying 'I do' to prenups; Jeff Strickler, 10/27/2010