Postnuptial agreements are increasingly becoming more popular after the dismissal of DOMA. The Supreme Court’s decision to reject the Defense of Marriage Act allowed all the newly married same-sex couples the option of creating prenup and postnup agreements. However, many same-sex couples are quick to marry their partner that postnups seem to be more applicable to them. The postnup agreement is essentially the same as a prenup; the only difference is that a prenup is made before marriage and a postnup is made after marriage. Postnups cover all topics that a prenup would, which allows same-sex couples to reallocate their financial assets and property rights.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey, there are 51% of divorce lawyers who saw an increase in postnups from 2009-2012. This increase in postnup agreements will refocus the couple’s interest in property rights. Property rights are important in postnups because if acquired before marriage, it will essentially be owned by one spouse, not both.
Another reason for the increase of postnuptial agreements is the increase in same-sex marriage throughout the nation. More states allowing gay marriage will ultimately catalyze same-sex couples to look into reallocating their finances after marriage. In addition, the expiration of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will give same-sex couples more benefits on a federal level. Naturally, gay married couples will look to protect those newly acquired benefits or add them into their marital estate. Since California has made same-sex marriage legal, it is likely that there will be postnuptial and prenuptial agreements rising.
Generally, prenup and postnup agreements paint a picture of how everything will be divided before or after marriage. If divorce were in the future, postnups would make the divorce settlement much easier to reach.