In the 1970s, as more couples began to divorce and more states issued “guilt-free” divorce statutes, post-uptial agreements became more frequent and more widely enforced. Although not necessary in all states, it is a good idea for both spouses to be represented independently of lawyers when negotiating and concluding a post-uptial agreement.  Josh King, chief lawyer at the Avvo online law market, warns that many post-nups will be signed in less than brilliant circumstances. “These documents occur in almost all cases in conflicting situations,” says King. “You won`t go home for your happy marriage and you`ll say, “Hey, I don`t have much to do tonight. Let`s negotiate a post-marriage agreement. This will almost always happen in a situation where something has gone wrong. A post-marriage agreement is a written agreement that is executed after a couple has married or entered into a civil union to settle the couple`s affairs and property in the event of separation or divorce. It may be “notarized” or recognized and subject to the Fraud Act. Like the content of a marital agreement, the provisions are very different, but often include provisions relating to the division of ownership and spousal assistance in the event of divorce, the death of a spouse or a breakdown of marriage. A few months after their wedding in 2016, the couple Krista and Ben of Pennsylvania have done something small, but more and more Americans are doing it: they have signed a post-marriage agreement. Krista came up with the idea. “The hardest part was the little time between the idea that maybe we should have a marital contract and the conversation. In my head, I was scared – what if it was weird? She recalls.
“But Ben was great on board.” “When they`re in a relationship and a party wants a deal after marriage, it`s a very difficult negotiation,” says King, who recalls a close family member who signed a post-nup against his strong objections (and advice from his own lawyer). “She was essentially irritated by the fact that she had her bargaining counterpart 24-7 on her face, which pushed her into this agreement.” What happened? “She and her husband are still married. I don`t think they`re that happy, but I guess it works in that regard, because they were very close to divorce and they stayed together – and they have young children. But it was not an economically equitable agreement. Ah, marriage – this beautiful union of two people… and his fortune. Unfortunately, nearly half of couples do not survive the long distance, 46% end in divorce or annulment, according to a 2016 CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System report, which examined marriage and divorce rates in 44 reporting states and Washington D.C.