How Prenuptial Agreements Help Couples Avoid Divorce

Divorce between spouses of all ages, having marriages of all lengths, is common in Connecticut and noted to be rising in the United States and in many countries throughout the world. According to a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, many factors affect the likelihood of eventual divorce.

The study, funded by the online dating company eHarmony, found that nearly eight percent of marriages between couples who met in person end in breakups, while only six percent of spouses who met online end their marriages. Meeting in school, at social gatherings, at places of worship or while growing up together was also found to be better for a marriage than initially meeting in places such as a bar, at work or on a blind date.

Meeting online is not the only way to minimize the probability of divorce, however. While many factors in a marriage may contribute to the likelihood of divorce, many couples help their marriages by drafting prenuptial agreements to help each person understand their expectations, responsibilities and rights. Marital agreements do not have to written before a marriage, either. Post-nuptial agreements, written at any point in the marriage, may help couples understand their marriage goals, as well.

Almost any matter can be covered in a premarital agreement, as long as the term is not a crime and does not violate public policy, such as by promoting divorce. Prenups cannot negatively affect child support, care, custody or visitation, but there are many common marital rights fiancées, newlyweds and spouses choose to cover in their antenuptial agreements:

  • Property rights, including how property should be disposed of upon separation, divorce, death or when some other event occurs
  • Spousal support rights
  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement plans
  • Personal rights and obligations
  • Which state’s laws govern the agreement

By discussing these issues at the outset of the marriage and making decision as a team, many couples help themselves to avoid arguments that commonly arise during a marriage. With the assistance of knowledgeable family law attorneys, couples can draft comprehensive, meaningful and enforceable prenups.