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Are Utah couples preparing for divorce in greater numbers?

Nationwide, the use of prenuptial agreements has risen. With nearly 50 percent of the marriages in this country ending in divorce, it makes financial sense to many people to prepare for the worst, yet hope for the best. But what about Utah couples that did not sign prenuptial agreements before they got married? Are they relegated to a long and drawn out divorce should it come to that? The simple answer is no. Couples do have the option of preparing and signing a postnuptial agreement.

In fact, according to some research, the use of postnuptial agreements has risen over 50 percent in recent years. Postnuptial agreements are drafted and signed at any point during the marriage, and -- like their before-marriage counterparts -- they too are on the rise. In addition, as is the case in prenuptial agreements, couples obtain their own attorneys and provide pertinent financial information.

Many couples decide to make these written agreements if they accumulate significant individual assets during the marriage. For instance, if one party becomes involved in a business that is thriving, a postnuptial agreement may be in order not only to protect the individual, but the business as well. Still other agreements are not tied to current financial assets, but instead are related to personal preference such as weight gain, what will happen if one party has an affair or if one party wins the lottery or is left a sizable inheritance.

Utah has a separate body of law governing prenuptial agreements, but contract law governs postnuptial agreements. Therefore, when these agreements are drafted and signed, they need to conform to those laws in order to be valid in the event the agreements are used. For this reason, it may be in the best interests of both parties to gain a familiarity with our state's contract law, including execution requirements and if any specific verbiage is required to legally enforce the agreement in the event of a divorce.

Source:, Are post-nuptial agreements growing trend in marriages?, Diana Watson, Nov. 13, 2013

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