Creating a Prenuptial Agreement That Stands Up in Court
Many people recognize that prenuptial agreements can be useful instruments when spouses want to be sure about the financial ramifications of a potential divorce. Even if you don’t currently possess substantial assets, you might seek to draw up an agreement now to avoid costly litigation over marital property. Individuals who own a business or have children with other partners might also seek a premarital agreement. Whatever your motivation might be, you want to be sure to create a document that will hold up if the need arises.
While most states have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), Pennsylvania statutes and case law determine what constitutes an enforceable prenuptial agreement. These instruments are presumed to be valid and enforceable unless one of the spouses can prove by clear and convincing evidence that they were coerced into the signing the agreement or that full financial disclosure was not provided.
In most cases, though, courts in Pennsylvania will enforce premarital agreements so long as they are reasonably fair and there is no sign of fraud or misrepresentation. This means spouses have a good deal of latitude to create a legal instrument that truly reflects their interests. Spouses can use prenuptial agreements to address potential divorce terms relating to:
- Division of property
- Whether a spouse will receive alimony
- Whether a spouse has a right to part of an inheritance or gift received by the other
- Management of a family business upon divorce
While prenups can cover a lot of territory, language on certain topics will not be enforced. A prenuptial agreement is not allowed to address:
- Child support
- Child custody
- The religious upbringing of children
If you are thinking about getting married and want to explore the possibility of signing a prenuptial agreement, it helps to speak with an experienced family lawyer first. You can visit by yourself or with your soon-to-be spouse for a discussion. To arrange a meeting with one of the attorneys here at The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney, P.C. in Yardley, please call 215.493.3360 or contact us online at your convenience.