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High Divorce Rate Leads to a Rise in Prenuptial Agreements

By Barbara J. King

With divorce rates for first marriages in the United States at 50%, many couples are now opting for a pre nuptial agreement, often anticipating a less than till death to us part outcome.

A prenup is a contract entered into prior to marriage.

The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage.

According to Tully Rinckey Partner Barb King, the actual mindset of people regarding marriage has changed. “People are now going into marriages expecting it not to last forever,” she said. “That is very different from 20 or 30 years ago.”

In the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. For a prenup to be valid, it must be made in writing, properly executed, must be entered into voluntarily and with full disclosure. Its terms can not be  unconscionable.

While some argue that writing a prenup can take the romance out of things, King says that writing up a prenup before getting married makes sense. “What partnership do you go into where you don’t know what the terms are? The prenup allows couples to set those terms themselves.”


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