The oddest requests are beginning to show up in agreements that couples sign before and after they marry. Texas family law attorneys say couples have added financial punishments and benefits to prenuptial agreements over provisions like weight, infidelity, hair color and sex.
More than 70 percent of divorce attorneys with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have noticed a five-year increase in the number of prenuptial contracts. Post-nuptial agreements are also reportedly on the rise by more than half the lawyers surveyed.
Not all the contracts require a spouse to hover at a certain weight, maintain a set hair color or remain prepared to have sex an agreed-upon number of times each day or week. Observers wonder how superficial or unrealistic these agreements will get and how courts will respond to them.
Among wealthy, famous couples are agreements that provide a spouse with millions of dollars in exchange for marital longevity. The financial incentives increase with every year of marriage, much like an employment contract.
There’s even a profitable side to infidelity, when a spouse owes millions of dollars for breaking an agreement to remain faithful.
Attorneys say odd and unusual conditions within pre- and post-nuptial contracts are not common. Most agreements revolve around asset and liability division during marriage and after its end, through divorce or death.
Wealthy individuals and celebrities may be the first in line to request premarital or post-nuptial agreements, but less well-off couples can benefit from the contracts, too. People who enter marriage with established businesses or multiple properties may want to investigate what protection prenups and post-marital agreements have to offer.
Fiancés with complex histories like former spouses and children from past relationships may find that marital contracts help prevent family arguments over asset ownership in the future. Spouses who have a sizeable difference in incomes sometimes feel the need to establish asset and liability boundaries before or during marriage.
Source: wfaa.com, “Divorce lawyers see rise in nontraditional pre-nups,” Shern Min-Chow, Oct. 17, 2012