Prenuptial Agreements: Setting Expectations Before Marriage
Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are contracts signed by the parties to a marriage before the marriage takes place. Prenups ensure the rights and obligations of each future spouse in the unfortunate event of divorce. If a party attempts to seek rights in divorce, which they contracted away as part of the prenuptial agreement, the agreement will operate to stop them from recovering, in most instances.
If you need help drafting, negotiating or reviewing a prenuptial agreement, contact Andrew F. Skala, Esq. As an attorney with more than 20 years of experience, I can answer your questions, provide guidance and help you create a strong and legally sound contract.
What A Prenup Can Do For You
Well-drafted prenups have the potential to save thousands of dollars and years of headaches. If the couple ever gets divorced, the prenuptial agreement will make the process and the outcomes more predictable, saving time, money and stress.
Below are the best practices you should observe when drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement:
- Both parties should have their own attorney (be smart)
- Both parties should give something and get something in return as part of the agreement (be fair)
- Draft and sign the prenup as early as possible before the marriage occurs (be timely)
- Be open and thorough about your existing assets and sources of income (be honest)
- Put the final agreement in writing (be exact)
- Give the other side time to review the prenup with their attorney (be patient)
It is important to remember that prenups are about mutual protection – not simply protecting the assets of one spouse. Keeping this principle in mind may allow both partners to remain open to creating such an agreement.
What Prenups Cannot Do: Waive Child Support
The only realistic limitation on a prenup is that parties cannot include decisions regarding child support (such as agreeing not to seek support or refusing to pay support). This is because Pennsylvania law holds that parents owe an automatic duty of support to their unemancipated children. In drafting a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that you have a licensed attorney prepare and review the document.
If you are the party that did not initiate the prenup, please remember you are entitled to and should seek the advice of a licensed attorney. Turn to the Greensburg firm of Andrew F. Skala, Esq., for the help you need.