The Basics Of Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts that define what each party’s rights and obligations are with respect to the split of premarital property, support, and other issues in the unfortunate event of a future divorce or death.

Prenuptial agreements are common among individuals who are bringing significant assets into the marriage. With a prenup, they can protect those assets from the Pennsylvania equitable distribution process if the marriage fails.

A couple can enter into postnuptial agreements after their wedding, for the same reasons they would enter a prenuptial agreement.

Why Should I Create a Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are common among people who aren’t entering their first marriage. They do this to ensure that their personal assets go to their children or grandchildren of prior marriages. Without an agreement, their assets would go to the current spouse.

It is important to note that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not a sign of distrust between spouses. In fact, many couples find that creating an agreement can alleviate a lot of stress regarding assets and liabilities. For example, it can protect one party from any liability connected to a business owned by the other party. It can also ensure that one party is not responsible for paying another party’s premarital debt.

If you need assistance creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or if you have questions about whether an agreement would be appropriate for your situation, contact us. Our Scranton prenuptial agreements lawyer will review your situation during a free family law consultation and recommend the best course of action.

What needs to be in a Postnuptial Agreement?

To be valid, postnuptial agreements must contain several of the following parts of information. Without them, the state of Pennsylvania, and states the couple may move to will likely consider it invalid. This will then force both parties to distribute their assets through the equitable distribution model, or another state’s equivalent.

  • Documentation: A postnuptial agreement must be written/typed in an official document. They cannot be done orally.
  • Voluntarily: Both spouses must agree and sign the document. One spouse cannot sign the document alone, and there cannot be proof that one spouse was coerced. If there was, the document will be rendered invalid.
  • Disclosure: Both spouses must be aware of any and all assets that the other has in their personal possession at the time of signing. They must be aware of everything the agreement is allowing the other spouse to keep. If it’s proven later that one spouse did not disclose an asset to the other spouse, the agreement can be voided.
  • Fair: The agreement must be fair and reasonable to both parties, but this does not mean equality. An example of a fair agreement would be for both parties to agree to take what they had before the marriage started when they leave. An unfair agreement would be for one partner to leave the marriage with many assets the other spouse had before the marriage, without trading/giving anything in return.
  • Valid Execution:  The signatures must be notarized with the proper state authorities and in line with proper state law.

For a Scranton Family Law Attorney Contact Kalinoski Law

Kalinoski Law Offices can assist newly married couples and long-standing couples with creating a postnuptial agreement. These do not have to be signs of distrust, but confirmation of faith in your relationship. To make sure that the agreement is fair, properly documented, and signed voluntarily, contact Kalinoski Law Offices for help.

We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law to civil rights and personal injury.

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