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Shifts in society may make prenuptial agreements useful

More and more residents in Houston and around the country are taking advantage of the protection that marital contracts can provide. Societal shifts have provided new ways that the use of a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement can be beneficial to partners and family members alike. Once thought only needed by those who are extremely wealthy and only for divorce proceedings, these contracts can offer help to virtually any couple today.

One set of people that may be able to benefit from the use of prenuptial agreements are older Americans. A media story published recently detailed how more Americans in their 50s and beyond are choosing to live together long term but not get married. In 2000, 1.2 million residents 50 and over cohabitated but by 2010, that number had risen to 2.8 million. Some of the reasons for this shift are financially motivated.

These reasons include tax implications as well as estate planning costs and logistics. When getting married later in life, many people have adult children and even grandchildren that they wish to leave assets or heirlooms to. By remaining single, they believe this process can be simplified. A prenuptial agreement, however, can aid in identifying these wishes. Even if couples remain single but live together, other contracts can be useful to identify which person is responsible for which expense. A Bowling Green State University sociology professor was cited in the article as indicating that older Americans cohabitate for an average of nine years.

No longer simply a way to protect or identify separate and marital property, a prenuptial agreement can help couples in other ways as well. If you are interested in learning more about marital or other domestic contracts, a visit with a family law attorney may be the wise solution.

Source: The New York Times, “Welcoming Love at an Older Age, but Not Necessarily Marriage,” Stanley Luxenberg, April 25, 2014

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