The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

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Rise in Number of Prenuptial Agreements IMAGENo one likes to think about divorce at the beginning of a marriage. Traditionally, prenuptial agreements have been thought to be important among the very rich or the very flaky, but not necessarily relevant for the average American couple. With divorce rates staying high at about 50 percent, this is changing. “According to a new survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML),” and as reported by the Huffington Post, “63 percent of divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an increase in prenuptial agreements during the past three years.” There’s a growing sense in the U.S. that marriage is as much a business arrangement as it is one for love—with the debate around same-sex marriage, financial perks (such as tax breaks) are often brought up as an objective reason for marriage equality. This same feeling could be responsible for the rise in the number of prenuptial agreements.

Alton Abramowitz, president of the AAML, told the Huffington Post that this idea of marriage as a business arrangement could be directly related to the economy. “As the financial and real estate markets continue to improve, there is a greater awareness of risk to possibly sharing these gains in a divorce,” he said. According to a survey conducted by the AAML, lawyers said that the top three items covered in most prenups include “the protection of separate property, alimony/spousal maintenance, and division of property.”

While prenuptial stereotypically initiated by men more often than women, the new research also showed that women are largely responsible for the growth in number of prenuptial agreements. Nearly 50 percent of lawyer polled “noted an increase in the number of women initiating requests for prenups,” according to the Huffington Post.

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LauraIf your divorce and child custody case involves the appointment of a guardian ad litem, it’s important to remember this is another adult appointed to represent the best interests of the children. In some situations, guardians ad litem are a critical component of how the judge structures a custody decision. Guardians ad litem are responsible for gathering evidence, reviewing the facts, and interacting with children and other parties to make a child custody recommendation. Interacting appropriately with the guardian ad litem may be important for the outcome of your child custody case, so always approach the situation with respect, regardless of how you feel about the other parent.

If either party requests the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL), judges will usually approve this request. The GAL reports to the judge what he or she believes to be in the best interests of the children, so do not take this opportunity to overwhelm the GAL with information about your case, particularly if that information involves bashing the other parent. When GALs are appointed, you will generally split the cost for their services with the other parent.

Comply with all requests for information and meetings with the GAL. Being professional and responsive can go a long way in your child custody case. Certainly, too much communication can be taken the wrong way by a GAL, and you must remember that you will pay for that person’s time to review and respond to all your information, too. Always address emails appropriately and read them out loud to ensure they sound professional.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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