The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has released a recent study showing an increase in the number of premarital agreements requested by clients. The survey also showed an increase of 46 percent in the number of women who are seeking such agreements.
The survey suggested that the upsurge in premarital and postmarital agreements may be linked to the slowly improving economy. Couples may recognize that, as their finances improve, there is an increased risk that they may be sharing any profits they realize with their spouse in a divorce.
Michigan and premarital agreements
When a couple marries, they are creating a legal contract that is verified by the state. In the case of divorce, assets are divided according to the default premarital agreement of the state statute — namely Michigan’s equitable distribution law. A premarital agreement allows the couple some degree of control over the process so their assets are divided according to their own values rather than the state’s principles.
Most premarital agreements deal primarily with these three areas:
- Protection of separate property
- Spousal maintenance
- Division of marital property
Like any legal contract, a premarital agreement must be witnessed and signed. Michigan has not yet adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which stipulates what assures the validity of a premarital agreement. Because this is the case in Michigan, it is particularly important that a couple consult with an attorney when creating an agreement to increase the chances it will hold up in court.
Why do women want them premarital agreements?
As the number of women acting as breadwinners increases steadily, more women are delaying marriage and more women are getting divorced, women are more aware that control over their own purse strings brings some degree of security. A 2010 Harris survey indicated that 15 percent of divorcees regretted not having a premarital agreement.
A family law attorney can help you create a valid premarital agreement. Call the Bloomfield Hills Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information.