What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are contracts that married couples create with the help of an attorney to determine how to divide assets and property and address issues such as child support and spousal support in the event of a separation or divorce.
It is never too late to enter a marriage contract outlining how your finances should be distributed in the event of dissolution. The goal is to address these issues before the divorce to protect the couple from any disputes.
Why Create a Postnuptial Agreement?
There are several reasons why you might want to create a postnuptial agreement. One of the most common reasons is to formalize a financial commitment by a spouse who has engaged in a form of marital misconduct. Another reason to create a postnuptial agreement would be to distinguish your equitable share in a closely held business such as a family business.
A third common reason for entry into a postnuptial agreement relates to estate planning. By way of example, a couple in a healthy second marriage might enter into a postnuptial agreement for the purpose of estate planning.
What Is Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?
What is included in a postnuptial agreement varies by state. Some of the provisions typically included in a postnuptial agreement include:
- How marital debts will be divided after a divorce
- How property and other assets will be divided after a divorce
- Whether one spouse will pay spousal support and the duration of the support payments
- How assets, property, and debts will be handled if one spouse dies during the marriage
How to Create a Postnuptial Agreement That's Enforceable
To be valid and enforceable, postnuptial agreements must meet the following guidelines:
- The document must be in writing and notarized
- The document must be signed voluntarily and intentionally by both parties
- Both parties must make a full and fair disclosure of all their assets, debts, property, and income
- The agreement cannot be unconscionable or one-sided
- The agreement must meet the legal requirements of the state you live in
Unmarried couples who live together often do not know where to turn to protect their rights if the relationship breaks down. Our attorneys have the experience and skills to protect your interests in the event your relationship ends.
Cohabitation agreements are an option for unmarried couples in the event one partner dies or the couple decides to end the relationship.
Learn How Our Lawyers Can Help
In Pennsylvania, postnuptial agreements are enforceable if the statutory requirements of a marital agreement are met. These requirements are set forth with specificity in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. If you would like to discuss the possibility of a postnuptial agreement, contact our office today.
Contact us onlineor call us at (412) 693-6681 to book an initial consultation.
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