Marital Agreements in Contemplation of Divorce

Romantic notions that marriage is forever are beginning to give way to the more realistic assessments that marriages indeed may not last. The pressure has been mounting for ways to provide economic planning to parties in the relatively likely event that their marriages terminate in divorce. The purpose of this article is to focus on one method of obtaining such planning: the marital agreement setting forth the support and property distribution which the parties would follow in the event of divorce. This article will review the law regarding marital agreements in contemplation of divorce as it exists in the United States, and the policy considerations relevant to it. The article will also describe a novel attempt in Michigan to deal with the matter legislatively, and will suggest a further change which would make this a fairer method of settling property interests in the event of a divorce.