Lawyers academy maps ins and outs of marriage prenups

These days, divorce has become more prevalent. There are now slightly more than 1 million divorces each year in the United States, compared to slightly more than 2 million marriages.

Related to this, there are more second and third marriages. People want to provide clear guidance relative to their current marriage and children and previous marriages and children.

The courts increasingly are taking a broad view of marital property, including pensions, stock options and even, in some cases, professional partnerships, such as law and medical practices. It is harder to make the case that assets you believe you have brought to a marriage should be considered separate from marital property.

"A prenuptial agreement can go a long way toward setting expectations and simplifying the divorce process should the marriage not work out, or streamline estate issues should one spouse die," according to Charles C. Shainberg of Philadelphia, the academy's president.