How Postnuptial Agreements Play Out in Property Division

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High-profile divorce cases such as the recent Murdoch-Deng split in often elevate certain legal concepts in the public's awareness, including that of Georgia residents. In that case, the division of marital property and assets was of particular interest because that divorce not only brought up the fairly well known prenuptial agreement but also raised the profile of the much lesser known postnuptial agreement.

In fact, a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers notes that 51 percent of divorce attorneys have seen the rise of postnuptial agreements over the past three years. Of these, 36 percent of divorce attorneys saw wives now initiating more postnups. One expert notes that this type of agreement is essential for mothers who choose to stay at home rather than continue their working careers.

Without postnups, stay-at-home moms are greatly disadvantaged in the event of divorce because they have often sacrificed their potential career earnings to raise children. Taking care of a home and children can certainly be fulfilling, but it does nothing for a woman and mother's financial stability after divorce.

The rising trend of postnuptial agreements is not surprising because many spouses at some point consider protecting themselves from the economic impact of divorce. Much like a prenuptial agreement, a postnup can safeguard a person's assets and keep businesses, retirement benefits and investments separate from property division in divorce. Although, discussing marital agreements is often uncomfortable for couples, a postnuptial agreement can clarify the financial rights and interests of both spouses in a marriage and divorce.

Drafting a postnuptial agreement may be a wise move for spouses particularly in equitable property states like Georgia. Equitable distribution can give rise to complicated issues, so a postnuptial agreement could make the division process not only smoother and less complex but also less uncertain.