We know the law. We are good at it. And we truly care about our clients. What can we do for you?
If you have children from a previous relationship, own a share in the family business, or just want to make sure you and your spouse are treated fairly in divorce, you might be considering a prenuptial agreement. However, not all marital agreements are treated equally by the Pennsylvania divorce courts. Make certain you have a strong, valid prenup agreement by working with an attorney who knows how to draft these agreements to hold up in court.
A prenuptial agreement -- called an antenuptial agreement in Pennsylvania -- is a written agreement between future spouses covering various aspects of their life together, and what should happen when they die or get divorced. Pennsylvania has laws that control issues like:
However, no law can apply perfectly to every family situation. When the standard rules may create an unfair or unintended result, an antenuptial agreement can change those default rules. This allows spouses to agree on what they want to happen in death or divorce. The experienced estate planning and family law attorneys at Berman & Associates can help you understand how intestacy and divorce law works and what to include in your antenuptial agreement to truly honor your wishes and protect your family.
Historically, prenup agreements have had a poor reputation as tools used by rich men (usually) to keep dependent wives from “getting their hands on” their husbands’ wealth. However, a strong prenup agreement can protect both spouses, and make sure that each receives what is fair. It can also keep a future divorce from causing disruption in the family business by triggering buy-back provisions or moving ownership outside the family.
The larger and more complicated your assets are going into a marriage, the more you might benefit from signing an antenuptial agreement before your wedding day. Depending on your family’s intentions, a prenuptial agreement can:
Negotiating and signing a prenup agreement before your marriage can drastically reduce the complexity of any future divorce. While divorce court is public, the terms of the prenuptial agreement are drafted privately. They can also include arbitration and confidentiality provisions to further protect your family’s privacy if the marriage fails. Our attorneys can help you review your financial situation and determine if a prenuptial agreement is needed to protect yourself or your assets.
An antenuptial agreement can waive a spouse’s right to property accumulated during the marriage, alimony and spousal support in divorce, and spousal benefits in death. Because of this, the Pennsylvania courts want to be certain the parties understand what they are agreeing to before they sign. If a party challenges the prenuptial agreement’s validity in a divorce or estate administration, the Court will examine the details of how it was created. To be valid, a prenup agreement must:
The goal of a prenup agreement is to negotiate how the financial portions of divorce will be handled while everyone still has one another’s best interests in mind. However, a valid prenuptial agreement cannot dictate issues of child custody, visitation, or child support. If you have received a draft prenuptial agreement, our attorneys can review that document with you and help you negotiate a fair resolution in the event of divorce.
The strongest prenups are the ones fully negotiated between parties with equal bargaining power, well before the marriage. If you want to make a prenuptial agreement that will hold up in a Pennsylvania divorce court:
At Berman Law, we understand that wealthy and blended families sometimes don’t fit standard divorce and inheritance models. Our experienced Pennsylvania family law and estate planning attorneys want to help you tailor your family’s protections through a carefully drafted and executed prenuptial agreement. If you are seeking to protect your family’s assets or shield your children’s inheritance, we can help you prepare a strong, valid prenup that will stand up to court challenges. We welcome you to contact us to set up an interview to discuss your financial situation and negotiate an agreement that protects your whole family.
© 2021 Berman & Associates