Updated: Oct 26, 2022
By: Ashley E. Rundell, Esquire, Fiffik Law Group, P.C., Associate Attorney
Since the beginning of time, there have been countless misconceptions about what prenuptial agreements are and who should get one. When one partner requests a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, the other may see this as offensive or a lack of trust. Other people may not think they are wealthy enough for a prenuptial agreement to be a necessity. Increases in second marriages and the trend of delaying marriage have caused couples to take a second look at prenuptial agreements as important asset protection and estate planning tools.
Contrary to these popular beliefs, prenuptial agreements are for everyone, and I recommend one to almost every client looking to get married soon.
There are a wide variety of benefits to a prenuptial agreement that make it a good move for any couple. As a family law attorney who often represents clients is extremely contentious divorces, many people I work with often wish they had a prenuptial agreement to avoid the fighting over asset and debt distribution. Having an agreement prior to marriage can avoid arguments and make the divorce process much faster – and cheaper!
In addition, upon marriage, someone can easily become liable for a significant amount of debt acquired by their spouse. However, a prenuptial agreement clarifies the financial rights and responsibilities for both spouses, including whether individual debts are kept separate.
The most important reason I recommend a prenuptial agreement to every couple is to avoid allowing the state laws to determine how property is divided upon divorce or death.
For example, in Pennsylvania, all property acquired during the marriage or pre-marital property that gained value during that time will be equitable (or otherwise evenly) distributed between the parties. This could include the marital residence, student loans, and retirement accounts that the parties may not have initially wanted to be split. Having a prenuptial agreement allows couple to make these decisions for themselves.
For these reasons, it is important to have an attorney who can ensure your prenuptial agreement is clear, understandable and protects you in the event of divorce or death. Contact Fiffik Law Group to get yours started today.