Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
If you are considering marriage, it makes sense to protect your interests and assets before you are legally joined in matrimony. Unfortunately, statistics show that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. Hopefully you will fall within the 50% of marriages that succeed, however it is never a bad thing to protect yourself against a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement or a premarital agreement is a contract between a man and woman before they are married. Circumstances over which we have little or no control can change. A prenuptial agreement does not mean you think your marriage will end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement works much like an insurance policy that protects in the case of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement outlines the division of assets and property in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements may also include the types and amount of support or alimony that either party may be entitled to. According to Pennsylvania law, prenuptial agreements are not binding on issues of child custody and, on occasion, child support. Our lawyers are devoted to providing honest, ethical, and aggressive representation for our clients before they walk down the aisle.
Whether you are somebody who wants to protect your financial interests in the event of divorce, or somebody who has been requested to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to or as a condition of marriage, Sweeney Law Offices will thoroughly review your individual situation in order to either draft or review a fair, binding prenuptial agreement.
Since our Pennsylvania law firm was established, our family law attorneys have worked to educate our clients on why they should create a pre-marital agreement. You should consider a pre-marital agreement if:
- You have children from a prior marriage whose financial futures or interests you want to protect
- You have more income or assets than your future spouse
- You want to protect your premarital business or other assets you acquired prior to marriage from the equitable distribution process
- You want to decrease your financial liability and/or protect the wealth you have acquired throughout your lifetime, inherited, or have acquired during marriage in the event of a divorce
- You have an inheritance in your name or expect one in the future
Pennsylvania Postnuptial Agreements
Postnuptial agreements, also known as postmarital agreements, are agreements entered into after a marriage has taken place, but before the parties seek to divorce. As with premarital agreements, one or both of the parties usually is seeking to protect assets or income in the event of divorce.
Are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements valid?
Courts in Pennsylvania will not consider the “reasonableness” of a prenup (unless the agreement was entered into because of duress, misrepresentation or fraud) as long as both parties have made a full and fair disclosure to one another. In fact, in Pennsylvania, even if one party did not have the agreement reviewed by an attorney, it is still considered valid.
While you certainly can create and enter into a premarital agreement or postnuptial agreement on your own, having an experienced lawyer assist you will make sure that all of your assets and financial interests are legally protected and binding in the event of separation or divorce.