According to a recent survey of more than 1,500 family law attorneys in California and across the United States, more than half of the survey respondents reported that they have seen an increase in the number of requests for postnuptial agreements in the last three years. Interestingly, a large number of the divorce lawyers surveyed said that they have seen a rise in the number of wives who are making those requests.

Postnuptial agreements, or postnups, are much like prenuptial agreements, with the significant difference that they are made after the couple marries, not before. Essentially, postnups are voluntary marital contracts entered into by couples who wish to decide and dictate how their assets and finances are divided in the event that their marriage ends in divorce. The agreements can also cover other family law issues such as spousal support, property division, children and probate.

Specifically, 51 percent of the members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that the number of couples who have requested prenuptial agreements has increased in the past three years. About one-third of the members also said that the number of women initiating this process has risen as well.

Overall, however, husbands are still more likely than wives to request postnups: 42 percent of attorneys said that they most often receive postnup requests from men, while just 10 percent said that women are more likely to seek the agreements. The remaining percent of the attorneys said that there is no real difference between the genders.

Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, "Postnuptial Agreements on the Rise Says Survey of Nation's Top Divorce Lawyers," Sept. 10, 2012