18 Apr Let’s Talk Statistics: Why Aren’t Prenups Used More Often?
A prenuptial agreement is a great way to strengthen a marriage, by laying out terms that will protect both parties if the marriage goes south. However, prenups have often been seen in an extremely negative light in the American consciousness.
When looking at the statistics associated with prenups, it is difficult to see why. In fact, a full 63% of divorce attorneys have noted that the amount of people agreeing to prenups has risen in the past three years.
Traditionally, men were more likely to request a prenup. However, women are beginning to demand them more often. 46% of divorce attorneys recently pointed out that women are beginning to be the primary requester of prenups.
In the study, these three statistics were perhaps the most interesting and relevant:
- The three most frequent reasons cited for signing a prenup were protection of separate property, terms for the division of property, and alimony/spousal maintenance.
- 15% of divorcees regret not signing a prenup.
- 44% of current single people support signing a prenup before marriage.
Those individuals who continue to insist that couples that sign prenups are asking for an eventual divorce are living in a fantasy. In fact, couples who have a relationship strong enough to realize the protections provided by the agreement are likely much more stable. For wealthy people entering a marriage, a prenup is particularly important to protecting their familial and personal assets.
Here are a few other important facts to remember if you feel cautious about signing a prenup before your marriage:
- Currently, only 3% of couples about to be married and those who are currently married have signed a prenup.
- Prenups can be thrown out of court if one of the spouses intentionally fail to disclose assets.
- Properly drafted prenups can override community property laws or equitable distribution requirement laws in some states.
- In nearly all cases, a prenup must be prepared in a certain manner to be considered binding.
- Your children and their assets can be protected by a prenuptial agreement, which is essential for individuals entering a marriage with kids from a previous relationship.
- Prenups cannot dictate the religious teachings of a child, and cannot predetermine custodial or visitation rights for either parent.
With all of these benefits to be had from a prenup, it is crucial that you consider one. Simply having the conversation with your family and spouse can bring you closer together. If you trust one another to be up front about what is important to each of you in the case of a divorce, that stress will be removed from the actual marriage before it even begins. Additionally, there will be less of a financial risk associated with a potential future divorce.
With more of the divorce settlements and terms already laid out, court fees will be much less. Overall, divorce is much more prevalent than people tend to admit, so being prepared is a responsible decision. However, some people are hesitant to sign a prenup because of their limited understanding of marriage/divorce trends. Here are a few statistics to keep in mind when considering your own situation:
- While wealth can most certainly be protected by a prenup, it can also keep you safe from debt brought into marriage by your spouse.
- Only 11.7% of married people feel they are at risk for a future divorce.
- In a recent survey of law students, more than 50% thought that a prenup would increase their chances or experiencing a divorce.
- Although they often get a reputation for being expensive, prenups are actually barely even a fraction of the costs of the average wedding.
- Of the divorces that occur in America each year, only 5% have a prenup in place to help dictate the event.
- While some may equate prenups with a lack of marital trust, the fact that all assets must be disclosed takes an enormous amount of trust in a partner.
- A full 63% of participants in a recent survey felt a prenup would increase their chances of experiencing a divorce.
- Additionally, 62% of people felt the person receiving the request for a prenup would see it in a negative light.
I can be useful to think of a prenup as a type of “marriage insurance.” Given the importance a marriage will have in your life, a prenup starts to feel as important as signing a life or car insurance form. Prenups can equalize the power field in a marriage, so be sure to ignore the stigma that surrounds them, and give the possibility of drafting one some serious thought. After all, it could keep both you and your spouse out of a bad situation in the future.