(WXYZ) - We've all heard of pre-nuptial agreements, but the latest "contract" to gain steam among spouses isn't signed until after the honeymoon is over! It’s called a post-nuptial agreement.
Brian Morache and his wife Mariam are past divorcees who recently tied the knot.
"Both of us have been married twice. Her first one ended O.K.; the second
one was a nightmare," Brian says.
This time, Mariam wanted to protect her assets, so she and Brian signed a post-nuptial agreement.
"I think there's a bit more peace of mind, a bit more stability in a sense."
A post-nup is a legally binding document that's similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, but is signed after a couple says their vows. With divorce rates and litigation costs on the rise, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says a growing number of couples are looking into these so-called "marital contracts."
"Any two people who feel that they're in conflict and feel that a marriage may be dissolved should try and define what they would do in the event of a divorce in advance. It does bring clarity to the situation," according to Ken Altshuler, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Some happy couples are also signing post-nups for a sense of security.
The terms of the agreement can deal with practically anything, from checking and savings accounts, to debt and child support, to personal property.
"We have many instances where people talk about who is going to have custody of the pet. I've had different pieces of china and silverware that were divided in advance."
For Brian and his wife, working out who gets what was simple.
“What we come into the marriage with is what we would each leave with," Brian says.
Brian and Mariam were lucky. Allison Pescosolido, co- founder of Divorce Detox , says post-nups can often be tricky to approach.
"Both people are going to have to give up what their ideal is. You also want to walk away if it starts getting heated and set a specific time to get back together."
Pescosolido also recommends reaching out to a therapist. But no matter how you choose to go about it…
"The most important thing is a full disclosure… finances, assets, and debts," according to Altshuler.
Otherwise, the post-nup could be thrown out in court. Brian and Mariam look forward to a lifetime of love, but consider the post-nup a kind of insurance policy.
"It’s almost like putting on a life jacket when you're going to go boating. You
don't anticipate using it, but you want it there," Brian says.
Currently, Ohio is the only state that prohibits post-nuptial agreements. You might want to talk to an attorney in your area if you have any questions about them.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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