Prenuptial agreements continue to grow in popularity. These contracts are effective tools for individuals contemplating marriage to set forth how property, assets, and debts will be divided should separation or divorce occur.
Considering a divorce is the last thing on your mind when you get married. However, like the protection an insurance policy provides should the unexpected occur, a prenuptial agreement can be the best way to reduce the costs and stress associated with financial issues should the unexpected occur in your marriage. A well-drafted prenup can be a valuable tool to address many concerns, including:
- The division of assets and/or debts if the couple separates or divorces or if either spouse dies
- Each spouse’s right to property and real estate holdings
- Either spouse’s entitlement to spousal support
- Each spouse’s entitlement to business ownership or management
- Each spouse’s right to inheritances
- Each spouse’s right to benefit from the other’s insurance policy in the event he/she dies
A prenuptial agreement cannotaddress or resolve the following issues:
- Child support and child custody issues
- Temporary spousal support
What Makes a Prenup Valid?
The general requirements that determine if a prenup is valid include:
- The agreement must be in writing
- The agreement must be signed by both spouses and notarized
- The agreement cannot be signed if one or both spouses were under duress or because of fraud
- Both spouses must have understood and accepted the terms and conditions of the agreement and agreed to each voluntarily
- The agreement must be fair and conscionable
- The agreement must also be accompanied with an asset statement detailing each spouse’s net worth and additional financial information
Can You Change a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can be modified with the agreement by both parties. The primary strategy here would be to craft a new agreement, called a postnuptial agreement. This document requires similar disclosures as a prenuptial, so you and your spouse would need to exchange financial information with one another during the legal process.
Reasons Why You Would Obtain a Prenuptial Agreement
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means the court divides martial property based on principles of fairness after a divorce. As this does not mean property will be divided equally, you might want to seek a prenuptial agreement to protect your interests.
Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements
In Pennsylvania, prenups are legally binding and enforceable if certain requirements are met. There is no requirement that the agreement must be fair to either or both spouses. Any agreement is permissible if fraud or duress did not occur. As a precaution, it is advisable for each spouse to consult with their own attorney prior to the execution of a prenup.
Need Assistance Drafting or Reviewing a Prenup? Let Us Help!
Our lawyers are happy to draft or review a prenuptial agreement to ensure that the terms are fair and protect your interests before you get married. While divorce is not typically a subject for newlyweds to even think about, protecting your future is your right. Let us help you safeguard yours by walking you through the prenup process.
Contact us onlinetoday or call us at (412) 693-6681 for help establishing or modifying your prenuptial agreement.
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