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Prenuptial agreements for same-sex couples

Many couples that get married in Pennsylvania consider setting up a prenuptial agreement. Young couples with few assets and no children from previous relationships may find that a prenuptial agreement is not necessary. Conversely, a person who is getting married later in life or entering into a second marriage may decide that a prenuptial agreement is worth the effort and expense.

Same-sex couples may be more likely to consider prenuptial agreements before getting married due to legal factors that don't affect opposite-sex couples. Because same-sex marriage has only been legalized across the entire country since the June 2015 Supreme Court decision, there are a lot of same-sex couples that are getting married after being together for many years. Regardless of how long a couple cohabited, courts in many states will only consider their legal relationship to have started at the date of marriage.

If a married same-sex couple were to get divorced after a couple of years, a family court judge may consider the couple's marriage to be short-term regardless of how long they lived together. On paper, it may look like one spouse owns a significant amount of personal assets that the other spouse cannot claim as marital property. With a prenuptial agreement, a same-sex couple can set up a legal agreement for how to share the financial assets that were accumulated over the course of their entire relationship.

Same-sex partners that would like to set up a prenuptial agreement before getting married may want to work with their respective family law attorneys. As such agreements are subject to general contract law principles, legal counsel can help ensure that the resulting document is legally binding and does not contain any invalid provisions.

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