Alimony Reform: Postnuptial Agreements on the Rise

Alimony Reform: Postnuptial Agreements on the Rise

According to the Wall Street Journal, post-nuptial agreements are on the rise and becoming increasingly popular with married couples. Post-nuptial agreements, similar to prenuptial agreements, are legal documents drafted after a couple has married and dictates how the assets and liabilities will be distributed if the couple either divorces or parts due to death. Post-nuptial agreements have received significant recognition in the family law realm because of the fact that the states nationwide are experiencing alimony reform.  

What is Alimony?

Depending on the state, alimony is the payment and maintenance of a spouse once a divorce is either pending or finalized. Alimony is governed state-by-state, with the more conservative states espousing the tradition of lifetime alimony, or in other words, one spouse maintaining the other spouse until the spouse either remarries, cohabits, or passes away.

Alimony Reform in South Carolina

Alimony reform is a major issue in South Carolina as there has been a significant push in the legislature to remove permanent alimony from South Carolina. Many believe permanent alimony is a form of indentured servitude and believe that it is unfair to require a spouse to pay for the support and maintenance of his/her ex until remarriage, cohabitation, or death. For many who are responsible for alimony payments, they are unable to retire at a reasonable age because they cannot afford retirement and spousal maintenance.

Why Post-nuptial Agreements are increasing in Popularity among Couples

Post-nuptial agreements are not only on the rise due to alimony reform but also in an attempt to restructure the marriage (and the consequences that a divorce will have financially on the spouses). The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers published in 2015 a study that stated that of the lawyers surveyed, 50 percent of them experienced a significant rise in the number of post-nuptial agreements that they have been asked to draft over the last three years. These attorneys cited the following as reasons that post-nuptial agreements have become more popular:

  • To punish a spouse’s misconduct during the marriage and deter further misconduct on the threat of punishment through the loss of assets as dictated by the post-nuptial agreement.
  • Changes in financial circumstances within the marriage.
  • To show increased dedication to the marriage by dictating within the post-nuptial agreement that one of the parties will receive a bigger settlement if the marriage breaks down.
  • Pressure from well-off families to ensure that inheritance is divvied up based on the will and further implemented by the post-nuptial agreement.
  • As a form of protection, if one of the spouses decides to make a sacrifice for the other, the post-nuptial agreement can ensure that the sacrifice is later paid back in the event that the couple decides to divorce.

Post-nuptial agreements in the above-mentioned circumstance provide assurances to, for example, stay-at-home parents who decide to sacrifice and take a backseat to their more career-oriented partners. With alimony reform as the new trend in family law, postnuptial agreements provide additional support and assurance for spouses who initially were relying on alimony in the event that the marriage ends up in a divorce.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area

Post-nuptial agreements are on the rise and increasingly popular with couples. Alimony reform will have a significant impact on family law in South Carolina so it is important to that you and your spouse speak with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance on possible alimony amendments. Contact Klok Law Firm LLC today for a free and confidential consultation regarding the protection of your rights to personal and shared property while in a relationship with your significant other. We are happy to help you today.