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Post-Nuptial Agreements

Post-Nuptial Agreements

A recent poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) claims over half the divorce attorneys polled have cited an increase in post-nuptial agreements. These are voluntary contracts between couples who have already been married–for any length of time, from two months to twenty years. The agreements can cover a wide range of issues including possible financial conflicts, property assets, support, among other various issues. Furthermore, a significant amount of the poll respondents indicated wives were the main parties asking for the agreements. {I deleted a sentence here re: budget/dishes}

These post-nuptial agreements are being viewed as a valuable tool to prevent any touchy issues within a marriage from escalating to a serious problem. It seems one of the most common motivating factors for these agreements is some type of dramatic change in the financial status of one or both partners. Ken Altshuler, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, tells us that it is “interesting to note the increase in wives requesting post-nups.” The increase in wives asking for post-nuptial agreements is considered interesting because traditionally husbands were seen as the party most likely to seek a post-nuptial agreements. While just over half of the divorce attorneys polled cited an increase in post-nuptial agreements created, 46% found no change. I have personally found that I am asked to prepare just as many post-nuptial agreements as pre-nuptial agreements.

Do I need a post-nuptial agreement?

A party from one couple who had entered a post-nuptial agreement, interviewed by CNN, said that “I was able to breathe easier” as a result of the agreement. They believe a post-nuptial or mediated agreement is capable of helping to save a relationship.

If you are in a marriage in Alabama, post-nuptial agreements are a valid contractual agreement under Ala. Code 1975, §§30-4-9[7] and §§43-8-72,[8], which was supported by a decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in Ruzic v. Ruzic, 549 So.2d 72 (Ala. 1989), among several other authoritative cases.

I have represented clients, both male and female, in the negotiation on a post-nuptial agreement and there is no need for the process to be adversarial. In fact, most of the clients I have for post-nuptial agreements are generally in agreement on most issues. It is important to consult an experienced family law attorney for the drafting of such an agreement because, as they say, the devil is in the details.

I would be glad to assist with this process and find it a rewarding part of my comprehensive Family Law practice, so contact me today at 205-822-8334 if you would like to schedule a consultation regarding a post-nuptial agreement.