Berman & Asbel, LLP

Benefits of prenuptial planning

Because divorce is so prevalent in society, those entering into marriage in Pennsylvania may take a realistic look at the statistics as they prepare to merge their lives. In many cases, adults wait until their careers are well underway to think about marriage, and they may have significant assets as they tie the knot. In such a case, a prenuptial agreement may make a lot of sense so that these assets aren't lost in the event of a divorce. However, those with wealth or marrying later in life are not the only individuals who could benefit from premarital financial planning. Any couple might use a prenup as a method for creating a financial plan for life together.

A prenuptial agreement may detail financial liabilities and assets of a couple. These details may include listings of credit card debts, vehicle loans, mortgages or student loans, as these could affect the couple's financial stability, credit rating and plans. A strategy for paying such debts might be included in a prenuptial agreement as well. Additionally, plans for handling each party's income, retirement accounts and other belongings might be specified in a prenup.

While Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, a couple married in the state could later move to a community property state during their marriage. Property division determinations are based on the state that has jurisdiction, meaning that the result may be different if a couple moves to a new state. A prenuptial agreement may serve to protect a couple's goals regardless of any relocation.

If a prenuptial agreement is under consideration, each party should have separate legal representation to review it to ensure that the terms are legally enforceable. As such an agreement is subject to applicable contract law, one that is entered into under duress may be voided by a divorce court at a later date.

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