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Non-traditional prenups can feature unique clauses

When it comes to love, marriage, and family nowadays, there are as many takes on tradition as there are types of family units. Weddings in particular have become representative of the different ways in which Americans are combining elements of yesteryear with various takes on today.

According to a 2010 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, almost 75 percent of divorce lawyers have observed a rise in the number of prenuptial agreements that pass through their offices. In Texas, these documents have evolved to include more than just the typical concerns of property division and childrearing responsibilities.

Some Houston attorneys have seen prenuptial agreements that tackle the topics of a partner's weight, hair color, or even intimacy in the bedroom.

Some celebrity marriage agreements have even featured clauses pertaining to infidelity.

However, these types of quirky additions to the more standard issues in a prenuptial agreement can be tough to enforce later on. Some might indicate unrealistic or unreasonable expectations, such as stipulations regarding a partner's looks. Some clauses might also be difficult to measure, such as those pertaining to love and affection.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers also reports that over half of divorce attorneys surveyed this year observed a rise in post-nuptial agreements. In Texas, post-nups function essentially the same as prenups, but go into effect as soon as they are finalized.

These agreements can even be used when couples are considering a divorce, but still ultimately want to remain married and work out their issues together.

While unusual clauses are becoming more available to divorcing spouses, it's important to remember the purposes of a prenuptial agreement. These documents should not be relied upon as contracts that can safeguard against the natural ebb and flow of romance and passion; rather, they can outline couples' priorities as a married unit.

Source: KHOU 11 News, "Divorce lawyers see rise in untraditional prenups." Shern-Min Chow, Oct. 16, 2012.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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