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More women seek prenuptial agreements today, according to reports

North Carolina couples may be interested to learn that, nationwide, more women are asking for prenuptial agreements before they get married. In past years, it was almost always the men, especially if they were wealthy, who asked for these agreements, reports say.

Overall, the number of both men and women who want prenuptial agreements is increasing, according to a survey of lawyers who are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Women are becoming more powerful in the workforce and accumulating their own wealth and property they want to protect in case their marriage does not work out. Women are looking at the divorce rate, which has climbed to about 50 percent of all marriages since the Korean War, according to federal census data. Both sexes also are becoming more sophisticated in the financial arena, which is another potential reason for the increase.

A prenup spells out who gets what should a marriage end in divorce. Family law attorneys suggest couples start discussing whether they want a prenup early in their engagement and should not wait until just before the wedding to spring one on the other party. Protecting assets a person owns before getting married is the key reason for prenups. Alimony and spousal support ranked second while division of property acquired after marriage rounded out the top three list.

No woman enters a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but protection of assets may still be an important consideration to engaged couples. Dividing assets can be complicated, so having a prenuptial agreement in place may make the divorce process easier if the marriage cannot be saved. A family law attorney may be able to assist in drawing up a prenuptial agreement that protects a woman's assets and interests in case of a divorce.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "More couples saying 'I do' to prenups", Tim Grant, October 31, 2013

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