The Use of Prenuptial Agreements Is on the Rise

Last year, the AAML conducted a survey of divorce attorneys that prenuptial agreements are increasingly being used by couples who are getting married. Sixty-three percent of the divorce attorneys surveyed said that use of prenuptial agreements has increased over the preceding three years.

The survey identified the top three items commonly included in prenuptial agreements. The most common item covered in prenuptial agreement was "protection of separate property," identified by 80 percent of the divorce attorneys surveyed. The next most common items covered were "alimony/spousal maintenance" at 77 percent and "division of property" with a 72 percent total.

Alton Abramowitz, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, credited the improving financial and real estate markets for the uptick in prenuptial agreements. He stated that "there is a greater awareness of risk to possibly sharing these [improving financial and real estate] gains in a divorce."

Prenuptial Agreements Under Ohio Law

A prenuptial agreement or prenup, is a contract between a man and woman that governs their property and economic rights during and after marriage. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, a prenuptial agreement is defined as "a contract entered into between a man and a woman in contemplation, and in consideration, of their future marriage whereby the property rights and economic interests of either the prospective wife or husbands, or both, are determined and set of forth in such instrument."

A prenuptial agreement can include provisions that deal with the disposition of property or payments upon the death of a spouse or provisions that divide property or that provide for spousal support upon separation or divorce. Courts view prenuptial agreements as "being conducive to marital tranquility" and promoting public policy.

Courts will generally uphold a prenuptial agreement as long as three conditions are met. First, the parties must have made a full disclosure of their assets. Second, the agreement was entered into without fraud, duress, or undue influence. Third and finally, the terms of any agreement must not promote or encourage divorce or profiteering by divorce.

Contact a Cleveland Marriage Attorney

If you have any questions regarding prenuptial agreements and how to protect your assets in a marriage, a Cleveland prenuptial agreement attorney can help you. Laubacher & Co. employs a team of marriage and divorce attorneys who have extensive experience helping clients create prenuptial agreements.

We understand that prenuptial agreements can be a sensitive issue for you or your significant other, and we want to work with you in a professional and diplomatic way to help you plan for your marriage. We will work with you to evaluate and protect your assets. A carefully drafted prenuptial agreement is vital to ensure that an agreement is not later overturned by a court. Our prenuptial agreement attorneys have the experience identifying potential issues in order to ensure that your prenuptial agreement will be valid and enforceable in the future.

Contact our Cleveland prenuptial agreement attorneys today to find out how we can help you plan for your marriage. Call or visit our office in Cleveland or Rocky River for a free initial consultation.

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