What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
Making the decision to get married is one that will have a significant impact on the rest of your life. As a married couple, you and your spouse will share many aspects of your lives, from living arrangements and children to income and assets.
Every couple is unique, and so is their marital arrangement. A growing number of couples choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married. A prenuptial agreement can determine some pretty important outcomes such as how assets are divided when a married couple splits up. The agreement can also determine who gets what when one spouse dies.
As you might imagine, prenuptial or antenuptial agreements are powerful, and at times controversial, documents that should be taken seriously. Note, that while these agreemnts before getting married can address certain financial matters, they generally cannot determine issues related to child custody or child support. These family law matters are typically determined by the court based on the best interests of the child, and these decisions can be modified as circumstances change.
If you are considering whether or not you need a prenuptial agreement, here’s what you need to know.
Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?
A popular misconception is that prenuptial arrangements are only for the wealthy. The reality is, anyone who has personal assets, liabilities, property, or children from a previous marriage should consider an agreement. Prenups are also on the rise! According to a 2019 survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62% of the respondents reported an increase in prenups over the previous three years and they also reported an increasing number of millenials entering such agreement.
While it may dampen the excitement of your marriage by already planning for its possible dissolution, prenuptial agreements most often aim to protect the interests of both parties and prevent nasty, costly court battles when a relationship ends.
Whether or not you need a prenup is a very personal decision. There are no one-size-fits-all standards or practices, but rather there are some very real pros and cons you should consider, and discuss with your soon-to-be spouse to come to a mutual decision as to whether or not you will choose to get a prenup.
If you have specific questions or concerns about prenuptial agreements in Pennsylvania and want to make sure your agreement is enforcable and sound, it’s advisable to consult with a family law attorney who is familiar with the state’s laws and can provide guidance tailored to your situation.
Benefits Of A Prenup
Don’t let misconceptions sway you away from even considering the idea of a prenuptial agreement. Consider these benefits and how they might increase the peace of mind you have entering into marriage:
- You will protect each spouse’s’ separate property to the extent you wish to do so
- You will avoid court involvement to decide marital property distribution.
- You will clearly distinguish between what is marital and what is community property.
- You will have the opportunity to detail any special arrangements between you and your spouse.
- You may avoid extended court proceedings, which result in the time of expensive divorce attorneys.
- You reduce conflicts during a divorce.
- You establish procedures and rules for issues that may arise in the future.
- You assign debt, such as credit cards, school loans, and mortgages, to the appropriate spouse to avoid both spouses sharing debt.
You can read more here about prenups and find out if it is a good decision for you and your spouse.
Why Choose Colgan & Associates To Help With Your Prenuptial Agreement?
If you decide that a prenuptial agreement is right for your relationship, it’s time to talk to a professional! At Colgan & Associates, our team of highly trained and experienced family law attorneys in Pennsylvania has helped many Central Pennsylvania couples establish prenuptial agreements that bring peace of mind and give the relationship a strong foundation of understanding upon which it can grow.
We are here to help you, too!
Free Prenup Consultation
Are you considering marriage and interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements? Call us toll-free at 866-971-2645 and we will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.