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Media Pennsylvania Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers

Delaware County family law firm prepares enforceable marital contracts

The term “prenuptial agreement” may bring to mind the classic tale of a wealthy widower seeking to protect his assets from a suspected gold-digging fiancée. However, prenups have become more and more common, even between spouses of modest and fairly equal economic status. People are marrying later in life, having already acquired significant assets and debts, and they are more inclined to favor a prenup to protect their financial security. If you and your fiancée are looking to draft such an agreement, the prenuptial agreement lawyers at Varga Law Offices in Media, Pennsylvania can advise you on the advantages of entering into such an arrangement.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

Also known as a premarital agreement, a prenup is a written contract between soon-to-be spouses that becomes effective when the marriage takes place. Its general purpose is to define each spouse’s property rights, both during the marriage and upon a potential divorce. Unlike most legal contracts, a prenup does not require the exchange of money, property or another thing of value to be enforceable. The mutual promises of the spouses are sufficient.

Why is a prenuptial agreement typically established?

Motivations for prenups can, and do, vary. One or both spouses may wish to keep assets they owned before marriage from becoming subject to property division upon divorce. One spouse may wish to protect his or her ownership interest in a small business. The spouses may wish to ensure they will not be answerable for each other’s debts.

A common instance for a prenup is when either spouse has children from a prior relationship. The prenup can provide for setting aside funds or particular assets for those children, which cannot be touched by the new spouse and his or her children. However, a prenup cannot control the obligation to pay child support, whether for a parent’s own child or for one adopted during the marriage. The court alone has authority to decide that issue, based on the child’s best interests.

Requirements for a legal prenuptial agreement in PA

A prenup’s legality depends upon the parties’ fair dealing before it is signed. In Pennsylvania, a court may set aside a premarital agreement if either party proves that the other induced them into signing through coercion, fraud or another form of deception. Alternatively, a party may challenge the prenup by showing they were not given full disclosure of the other party’s property or financial obligations.

What is needed to prepare a prenuptial agreement?

Retaining an attorney experienced in drafting prenuptial agreements is the best way to ensure that the one you are signing will protect your property interests. In preparation for a meeting with your attorney, you’ll need to assemble documentation relating to the following:

  • Your earnings and those of your prospective spouse
  • Retirement plans each of you own
  • Assets you own separately or jointly
  • Separately or jointly held debts
  • Inheritances either of you expect to receive
  • Insurance policies and other contingent benefits

You and your spouse should have separate attorneys, since a single attorney would have a conflict of interest.

When should you get a prenup if you get married in Pennsylvania?

A prenup can be signed at any time before the wedding. However, the hastier the preparation process, the more likely mistakes or oversights will occur. You should begin taking action on a prenup as soon as you have a wedding date set, as the preparation for the same will depend upon the complexity of your financial situation.

Contact a Media, PA family law attorney for advice on prenuptial agreements

At Varga Law Offices in Media, Pennsylvania, we can prepare a personalized prenuptial agreement that effectively protects your interests. Call us at 610.892.9909 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.