When Pennsylvania couples are planning on getting married, they might wonder about whether or not they should have a prenuptial agreement. These agreements may be needed in order to protect the financial interests of the parties if their marriage doesn’t last or if other events take place. There are advantages and disadvantages of prenuptial agreements that people might want to consider.
Premarital agreements may be used to protect the inheritances of children and grandchildren from prior marriages. They may also be used to protect a business one spouse will be bringing into the marriage, allowing that spouse to retain the business as separate property. These agreements may also be used to limit any potential spousal support that may be payable if the marriage doesn’t work out. They are also good for couples with one party who has a substantial debt burden so that the other will not be obligated to assume those obligations.
Disadvantages may also exist. A prenuptial agreement may also prevent a spouse from inheriting the other spouse’s estate. Also, some people feel that there may be less trust in the relationship if it started out with a contract.
Prenuptial agreements may provide important financial protections if a marriage later ends. However, these agreements are contracts, and thus they need to follow certain requirements in order for them to be considered valid by a court if one of the parties decides to mount a challenge to its provisions in the future. Family law attorneys will advise their clients to negotiate the agreement’s terms and sign it well in advance of the wedding in order to counter a claim that one party was forced to sign it on the eve of the wedding date under duress, for example.