Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Statistics 2022

Prenuptial agreements, more commonly known as prenups, are becoming increasingly more common, especially here in Arizona. Prenups are incredibly helpful legal agreements future partners can draw up together before getting married.

What Do Prenups Do?

In one sense, divorce in America has been on a steady decline for the last two decades, falling from a high of 4 divorces per 1,000 people to 2.3 in 2020—though the COVID-19 pandemic may have skewed numbers in that year.

However, the number of divorces per the number of marriages has stayed fairly steady. As a result, people are frequently anxious about what could happen if their marriage were to end. In particular, many people worry about what may happen to their assets and finances if they should divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help to ease some of that anxiety by making some essential decisions before divorce does occur.

Some of the most important things a prenup can do include the following:

Pre-Arrange Financial Matters

Many couples decide to get a prenup to protect their finances as well as set expectations for how their finances will be handled throughout their relationship. A prenup can outline, for example, if the couple will be using a joint bank or savings account. This helps to prevent conflict about how money is spent and shared. Some people also use their prenups to detail how assets and debt will be split if they are acquired during marriage, especially if the intent is to divide them in a way that does not align with Arizona community property guidelines.

Assign Separate Property Before Marriage

One of the most frequent worries partners experience, especially if it’s not their first marriage, is losing property they had before they got married. Because Arizona follows community property laws, everything acquired during a marriage is subject to equal division in divorce. A prenup can preempt this property division by outlining “separate property,” or property that was owned by each person before the marriage. This way, if one partner enters the marriage with valuable assets, a prenup can prove that it was owned individually before the marriage occurred.

Protect Partners Individually

Prenups can protect a variety of assets, physical property, finances, children, inheritances, and more. However, prenups can provide a great deal of protection for both parties involved, regardless of their personal wealth before the marriage. For a prenuptial agreement to become legally enforceable, it must be fair to both partners. For example, prenups can outline spousal support obligations to support a lower-earning spouse who may have left their job or stopped career training to care for children. The best part about prenuptial agreements is that they can be crafted to fit you and your partner’s unique wants and needs, no matter your financial situation.

Protect Children

Another important property of a prenup is that it can be used to protect children. Many partners seek prenups to make sure that any children they have during the marriage will continue to be supported by their wealthier partner after a divorce. People that have children from previous marriages may worry about protecting their children financially in the event of a divorce. A prenup can help to outline aspects such as spousal support and potential child support as well as detail important assets that may belong to the children. For example, a prenup can protect your child’s future inheritance by stating it goes directly to them.

The Benefits of Using a Prenup

The Benefits of Using a Prenup

Getting a prenup with your partner before you get married comes with a great deal of benefits, including:

Ensures Fairness

Sometimes, when a marriage ends poorly, the divorce process can be long, emotional, and difficult. Many people deal with consistent disagreements with their soon-to-be-ex-partners and find themselves in prolonged divorce litigation to settle each of them. A prenup can not only help with these disagreements, but it will also ensure that your assets are divided fairly as the divorce is finalized. Community property laws state that everything that was acquired during a marriage must be split equally. A prenup can help you ensure that you define separate property in advance and protect both spouses regardless of their earnings during the marriage.

Makes Divorce a Bit Less Complicated

Getting divorced is never easy, whether or not the relationship is ending on good terms. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can help make the process smoother and less stressful for all parties involved. When drafting a prenup, both parties can express their needs, expectations, priorities, and more. If a divorce does occur, many of the most complicated aspects of separation have already been addressed.

Provides Peace of Mind

Whether it’s your first marriage or your third marriage, a prenuptial agreement can help provide both partners with some peace of mind before, during, and after the marriage. Many people are afraid of losing critical assets if a marriage ends, which is why a prenuptial agreement can lessen some of that anxiety. As mentioned, outlining the division of assets ahead of time can provide much-needed peace of mind no matter the success of the marriage.

Current Divorce Rates

In 2020, over 1,600,000 marriages occurred across the country. As of 2021, the national divorce rate of the United States moved to just above 40%. For the past decade, that number has varied between 40-50%, meaning that almost half of marriages in the US ended in divorce during that time. For people in a second or third marriage, these rates often jump even higher.

According to the CDC’s latest report on marriages and separations, roughly 2.3 out of every 1,000 people are currently divorced in America. These figures can seem daunting for many couples, especially those who recently married and are hoping for the best. The divorce rate is consistently cited as a factor contributing to the growing use of prenuptial agreements around the country.

In Arizona, the marriage rate sits below the national average, at 4.9 weddings for every thousand people. This rate appears to be falling in recent years, and is currently 34th in the nation. By contrast, Arizona ranks 11th for total divorces, though the divorce rate per thousand people is on par with the marriage rate in the state.

Divorces in Arizona
Source: Strictly Weddings

Prenuptial Statistics

Prenuptial agreements can provide a sense of security for couples embarking on a marital journey, especially regarding their financial futures. While prenuptials aren’t as commonly used as you might think, they are becoming more common. Here are some statistics regarding the current use of prenups in the US and here in Arizona.

National Prenuptial Statistics

  • While prenuptial agreements can be incredibly helpful, it has been found that they are only used in about 10% of marriages.
  • Just over 10% of people believe that there is a possibility their marriage might end, despite consistently high divorce rates.
  • Almost 50% of unmarried people believe prenups can be helpful.
  • Despite their beneficial properties, most people polled had negative connotations regarding asking for or drafting a prenup
  • 63% of people said they would feel intimidated or at a higher risk for divorce if their partner asked them to sign a prenup.
  • Roughly 15% of people who were recently divorced wished they had crafted a prenuptial agreement.
  • Over 50% of divorce lawyers noted that they’ve seen an increase in demand for prenuptial agreements.
  • More people are getting married later in life, which may contribute to the rising use of prenups in America.
  • Drafting a prenuptial agreement is much less expensive than going through litigation and lawyers because of disagreements in a divorce.

Arizona Prenuptial Statistics

  • As of 2020, the divorce rate in Arizona was higher than the national average.
  • In 2020, Arizona had the 23rd highest divorce rate in the country. In 2022, it is now 14th.
  • As of 2022, roughly 12% of people in Arizona were divorced.
  • Arizona’s divorce rate sits at 2.9 people out of every 1,000 people according to a 2020 report by the CDC.
  • In the past 2 years, Arizona has also recorded some of its lowest marriage rates in decades.
  • In Arizona, only around 5% of people have created or used prenups.
  • However, in the past few years, Arizona has experienced a gradual increase in the creation of prenuptial agreements.
  • Because Arizona is a community property state, most people who created prenups to define separate property report being happy they did so.

Arizona Prenuptial Statistics

Help You Can Trust For Prenuptial Agreements in Arizona

Drafting, creating, and implementing any form of legal document is not an uncomplicated process, especially if you have minimal legal experience. However, retaining an attorney is not always feasible, especially in the time leading up to an important event like a marriage. Here at Draft My Legal Docs, our legal experts specialize in writing and reviewing legal documents of all types, including prenuptial agreements.

Our team of licensed attorneys can not only help you prepare and create a draft of your prenup, but also assist you throughout the filing process to prevent any issues from arising. Marriage, divorce, and the documents that come along with them are complex, so let Draft My Legal Docs help you through it. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, contact our team today.


Facts About Arizona Family Court and Family Law

Facts About Arizona Family Court and Family Law

Arizona Family Court is a branch of civil court, meaning that the court does not handle instances in which people break criminal laws. Instead, family court handles civil disputes between people who are related to one another. Family court must interpret family law to settle these disputes.

Family court applies family law to determine physical custody of children after a divorce, adoption and even cases of child abduction. Family court can also interpret family law to determine which legal rights or responsibilities a person has for another family member, as in legal decision making responsibilities for children after a divorce or even spousal support/alimony. These are only some of the ways family law can affect Arizona family dynamics.

As a result, Arizona Family Court deals with a number of case types, including:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Alimony/Spousal support
  • Division of property in divorce
  • Adoption and foster care
  • Child custody and legal decision making responsibilities
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Elder exploitation and abuse

Facets of Arizona Family Law

There are many aspects of family court that affect Arizona families. Here are some of the most important facets of family law.


The impacts of divorce on the family dynamic are significant, and they can have long-term effects on everyone involved—particularly the children of the couple. Often, too, a divorce is not only a divorce, but a mix of several areas of family law.

These can include visitation rights, child custody and legal decision making rights, alimony or spousal support, and child support.

  • In 2019, the average rate of marriage in Arizona was 5.4 per 1,000 people and the divorce rate was 3 per every 1,000 people.
  • The average Arizona divorce rate was 56% as of 2019.
  • According to the 2016 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of people at the time of their first marriage increased by two years between 2008 and 2016.
  • There were over half a million divorces in the U.S. in 2021, according to CDC data.

Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption

Termination of adoptions and termination of parental rights are actions that, together, work to sever legal ties between adopted persons and their adoptive families. This action is also referred to as “relinquishment.” This action can be brought to AZ family court by the adopted family member or the adoptive parents, and usually comes as a result of disagreements about biological family members. The case can also be the result of concerns about the manner in which the adopted child was raised by their adopted family, including concerns involving physical abuse. These concerns often relate to issues that would make it difficult for the child to form future relationships.

Though the parties bringing this case to family court may feel they have no other options, family law attorneys take care to request that all parties involved carefully consider the decision. Relinquishment is irreversible and there is no potential to reconcile at a later date if disagreements are resolved. if parental rights are terminated, all legal ties are severed and the adoption decree is void.

Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

In family law, a restraining order—also known as a protective order—is utilized to keep people safe from physical or emotional harm at the hands of another person. If the danger is immediate, the person at risk should contact an Arizona family law attorney. An attorney can request an emergency protective order to prevent whoever is harming or threatening to harm a person from doing so.

A restraining order could entail many actions, including ordering the threatening party to stay away from the victim’s place of residence and job, or ordering them to refrain from contacting the person by phone or any other means. If the risk will continue into the foreseeable future, a family law attorney can seek a long-term protective order that will last until a trial can take place. This is often necessary if the situation will remain dangerous for the person even after a divorce or other family court matter is complete.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child Custody and Visitation

Typically, parents create a parenting plan, including child custody and visitation decisions, and present it to the court for approval. If they are unable to do so, the court makes the final decision. The court determines legal decision making rights and physical custody according to the best interests of the child or children.

When a parent takes their custody case to family court, it’s generally with the end goal of gaining full and sole physical and legal custody, allowing the other parent only supervised visitation. Sometimes, the other parent desires full and sole physical and legal custody, as well. However, Arizona Family Court begins with the assumption of joint custody, and determines adjustments to custody according to the child’s best interests. A parent requesting sole custody must provide evidence parenting rights for their ex-partner are not in the child’s best interests, such as evidence of substance misuse or child abuse.


Arizona Family Court often determines the biological parentage of a child, usually for custody or child support purposes. Often, proof of paternity becomes necessary when the parents were not married at the time of conception or the child is conceived outside of a marriage.

However, paternity can be either presumed or biological in the eyes of Arizona Family Court. Presumed paternity refers to the idea that if a child is conceived during a marriage, the male partner is presumed to be the father. Evidence must be provided to prove this isn’t true. Legal presumptions also apply to family members who financially rely on one other as they work for financial freedom from their families.

Biological paternity in family law is determined as the result of a legal action, which seeks to determine the genetic father of the child. In Arizona, a party must provide evidence regarding why a biological paternity case should be issued. However, the way paternity laws function across state lines may be different. Be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney if you intend to initiate a biological paternity case or are dealing with a paternity case across state lines.

Juvenile Law Matters

This refers to any family law matter that involves minors who have not reached the age of eighteen in Arizona. Juvenile matters include many facets of family law, such as child custody and visitation conflicts, as well as child abuse and neglect. Juvenile matters also include temporary guardianship, or dependency, which refers to a party needing support from someone until they are an adult. This can apply in cases where parents have lost rights to their children.

Juvenile matters can also involve truancy and juvenile delinquency. Juvenile probation, supervision, and even juvenile custody are handled by family court. Minors cannot be prosecuted by adult criminal court, except under exceptional circumstances. As a result, Arizona Family Court handles most juvenile cases.

Division of Property

Legal property division ties in with Arizona divorce. It’s a complex process that addresses a number of extenuating factors to best distribute marital debts and assets between two people who are separating. In most cases, a divorcing couple either determines property and debt division prior to the divorce hearing, or accepts the equal division of community property as prescribed by the state of Arizona.

If no such agreement is possible, Arizona family court makes decisions for the division of property based on the best interests of the family, according to community property guidelines. Typically, this means both parties receive roughly half of all assets and debts obtained during the marriage. This, of course, can be very difficult to do in a way that pleases all parties involved, as people often come out of a divorce feeling as if they deserve a larger portion of the assets. It can be helpful to have a family law attorney by your side to represent your interests and help you retain what you deserve.

Why Do I Need to Understand AZ Family Law?

Understanding AZ Family Law

Family law in Arizona provides a framework upon which Arizona Family Court makes just decisions regarding family disputes. In this way, family law protects mothers and fathers from unfair treatment in child custody disputes, advocates for the best interests of children in all matters, and ensures that the interests of all parties are considered in divorce, custody, support, and property division cases. Family law works to create safe home environments and protect the most vulnerable among us.

Is Collaborative Divorce the Right Choice?

Collaborative Divorce Mediation: Is it the Right Choice for You?

A collaborative divorce, or collaborative divorce meditation, is an excellent way to work through dissolving your marriage in a way that allows you to focus on working together privately. With collaborative divorce, dissolving your marriage doesn’t have to be contentious or drawn out in litigation.

Instead, a collaborative approach can help you get through divorce without the court’s interference for the bulk of the process. Here we will discuss the benefits of taking a unified approach to divorce, who collaborative divorce is suitable for, and what a collaborative divorce entails in the state of Arizona.

Who Should Consider a Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is an excellent option for people who do not wish to engage in lengthy divorce proceedings through the court. Using a collaborative approach to your divorce will help you avoid hashing out your issues in court, which costs time, effort and money. With a collaborative divorce meditation, you can stay on top of the process and have your attorney assist you with the various legal aspects of ending your marriage.

If you want a divorce that focuses on team effort and leaves out the drawn-out legalities, a collaborative divorce is the way to go. You and your soon to be ex-spouse can work through mediation with the shared goal of parting ways in an amicable manner.

What Makes Collaborative Divorce a Good Option?

Collaborative divorce mediation is a good option for several key reasons. We’ve listed the most common reasons people choose collaborative divorce.

You Can Avoid Lengthy Litigation

This benefit has been discussed above, but it is important to stress that collaborative divorce mediation keeps your divorce proceedings in your hands. In traditional divorce proceedings, a judge presides over your divorce and steps in to make decisions if you and your former spouse are at a point of disagreement. While this process works in situations where the involved parties are experiencing difficulties settling issues, it is not necessarily applicable to couples who want to divide assets and settle custody issues on their own.

You’ll Experience Flexibility in Scheduling Negotiations

With mediation, you can schedule divorce negotiations around other important day-to-day needs like work and the children’s school hours. You and your team can decide on a timeline for the divorce and work to resolve issues in a manner that helps everyone involved save precious time. Traditional litigation considers availability of the courts first and foremost, which can lead to a divorce that takes significantly longer to finalize.

You’ll Save Money on Court Fees

SSave Money on Court Fees

If you have a complex case where you need to divide businesses, split valuable assets, and sort out child custody, divorce litigation can become very expensive. Through mediation, the process of settling issues pertaining to children and finances can be much more affordable. Saving money in a time where you’re going through such a drastic life change can have a significant impact on your financial standing and should not be overlooked. Collaborative divorce mediation can achieve the same results while preventing you from spending thousands of dollars.

Collaborative Divorce Can Be Less Stressful For Children

Collaborative divorce mediation can prove much less stressful for children, especially if they would have been required to appear in a courtroom in front of a judge. In court proceedings where divorcing parents aren’t communicating with each other to make important decisions regarding the well-being of the children, children may need to meet with court officials. In mediation, both parents work together with their attorneys and can request the assistance of child specialists, communication liaisons and other professionals to maintain a healthy and productive dialogue about childcare needs.

When couples are divorcing, the idea of their child sitting in a courtroom often isn’t considered until discussion has devolved to the point of litigation. Fortunately if you are filing for divorce in Arizona and looking to do so via collaborative mediation, you can avoid this possibility. Settling your divorce and child custody arrangement through mediation can be a more gentle experience for the entire family.

Collaborative Divorce Helps Keep Your Divorce a Private Matter

In collaborative mediation, you can consult with legal representatives the same as you would in traditional proceedings. You have the added benefit of being able to ask questions, challenge decisions and work through points of disagreement yourself instead of relying on a judge. While your efforts are collaborative, your attorney will still serve to protect your rights and work in your best interest. Having legal counsel in your corner ensures you cover your needs in the process of dissolving your marriage.

What Issues Are Covered in a Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, mediation allows for negotiation between parties to reach satisfactory resolutions. Unlike traditional litigation, divorcing spouses rely on their attorney team and the mediator to help them come to agreements on all the issues usually covered in courtroom divorces. The most common issues you can expect your attorney and mediation team to focus on are as follows.

Division of Assets & Property

The division of assets and other property is a highly contested and complex divorce matter. Many couples, even those who are not interested in fighting in court, struggle to comb through the details of asset division effectively. With collaborative divorce mediation, this process is made smoother with the help of your attorney and a financial professional who has the expertise to settle property division issues. Your team will need the full cooperation of you and your spouse to accurately divide your assets, property, and finances.

Spousal Maintenance

With the help of your collaborative divorce attorney and your financial professional, you and your spouse will decide whether spousal support is warranted and determine the details of the arrangement. To successfully negotiate spousal support, you and your spouse must provide accurate financial information so the professionals can make a determination regarding financial support. Once an agreement is reached, a support document is created and both parties must honor the agreement. The spouse who is responsible for providing spousal support will then be required to assist the other with essential financial needs for the time specified.

Child Custody

Child custody (now referred to as legal decision-making) is often the most difficult part of a divorce to settle. When children are involved, emotions run high. As a result, power struggles over legal and physical custody can drag divorces on for extended periods of time. In a collaborative divorce process, divorcing spouses and their team openly communicate to negotiate the needs and desires of each party regarding childcare and important decisions. Like all other aspects of the divorce, spouses are encouraged to talk out issues so they can come to an agreement that works for both parties and serves the best interest of the child.

With the help of a collaborative team of professionals, divorcing spouses can develop a parenting plan that helps them decide how to communicate about childcare, how to schedule physical custody, and what they will do when critical issues regarding the child’s education, shelter, medical care and socialization arise. The parenting plan can then be approved and finalized by a family court judge.

Pets and Pet Care

A beloved pet is also an important member of the family that must be taken into consideration when spouses are divorcing. Decisions often revolve around which spouse has a stronger attachment to the pet or which spouse does most of the daily pet care. Still, it can be difficult to decide who will keep the pet moving forward. If an agreement over pet care and costs cannot be easily reached, a collaborative team can help decide how to share pet care and costs.

What Is the Cost of Filing For Collaborative Divorce in AZ?

The costs of divorce litigation can be very expensive. Attorney fees alone can range from tens of thousands of dollars to even a hundred thousand in more complex cases. While each divorce case differs in complexity, divorcing spouses who opt for a collaborative divorce process find themselves spending a fraction of the costs associated with traditional litigation.

Collaborative divorce can cost as little as a few thousand dollars. You will typically pay an attorney an hourly rate for the time they spend working on your case, but you are only billed for the time your mediator spends in mediation. Furthermore with the time saved in mediation the entire divorce process is less taxing on spouses, children, and even pets.

We Can Help You During Your Divorce

Help During Your Divorce

Divorce is a common but serious process that entails a great deal of decision-making and compromise. If you are filing for divorce in Arizona via collaborative divorce mediation, it is essential to prepare for the steps required to settle matters in a way that benefits the entire family.

Our legal experts are available to help you stay in control of the divorce process and effectively work through important issues to reach solutions that preserve communication and foster harmony. Count on us to assist with the creation of documents that will outline the essential aspects of your divorce. Together, we can ensure all your most important needs are thoroughly addressed and settled.

*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published Mar 30, 2018 and has been updated September 14, 2022.

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