Economic Stress Causing Rise in Pre-Nuptial Agreements
Fleischer & Ravreby says “children of divorce” going into marriage seeking protection
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
(San Diego) – Prenuptial agreements are growing in popularity, believed driven in part by difficult economic times. A September survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 73 percent of divorce lawyers reported seeing an increase in demand for prenuptial agreements over the past five years, especially among middle class couples.
Myra Chack Fleischer, lead counsel and Family Law Expert, Fleischer & Ravreby, says the survey holds true in her experience, but perhaps for different reasons. She reports getting more requests to create prenuptial agreements among all age groups, but especially among so-called “children of divorce.”
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“The economy is one reason for this trend, but we have also created a generation now of children of divorce. They lived what their parents went though when getting divorced and know what the odds are out there. They want to protect themselves and their children a bit from the messy end to a marriage,” explains Fleischer.
Fleischer explains that prenuptial agreements are contracts that can contain any terms the parties wish to have in them, regarding any aspect of property that would normally be divided should the marriage end in divorce. “The couple can agree that there be no spousal support ever, or that spousal support would only kick in if the marriage lasts a certain number of years and at what amount. Parties can even agree that the incomes do not create community property, since in California all income earned after marriage is considered community property.
“The only thing that is against public policy and legal bounds is child support since that is based on factors at the time and cannot be contracted away,” said Fleischer.
Do prenuptial agreements mean that a prospective husband or wife have one foot out the door of the marriage already? “Not at all,” says Fleischer. “Money issues are the number one reason for divorce. Prenuptial agreements provide a platform for couples to talk out issues about their financial future. Not all people are financially compatible. This gives couples an opportunity to talk about how family finances will be handled, and to take advantage of the neutral advice of a third-party professional.”
While many family law attorneys can craft prenuptial agreements, it is an advantage to engage a family law attorney who is a Certified Family Law Specialist, such as Fleischer. In addition, Fleischer worked for 10 years as an accountant in public accounting and then as the controller of an international mid-sized software company. She is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Federal Taxation. Her financial background combined with her law expertise is a key factor in Fleischer’s success in her clients avoiding lengthy and expensive court proceedings due to strong legal protections such as prenuptial agreements.
“Love does not need to be legally blind,” says Fleischer. “The most romantic thing a couple can do is not to avoid discussing difficult topics, but to address them head on and ensure that legal and financial issues don’t get in the way of your relationships later – for richer or poorer.”