Often, when you hear about a “prenuptial” arrangement on television or in the media, it is with association to celebrities trying to finagle exorbitant amounts of money from each other after a few months of a doomed, drama-filled marriage. Consequently, many people tend to view prenuptial agreements negatively. However, a Prenuptial Agreement is simply a practical consideration of the legal and financial issues. If properly drafted by our prenuptial agreement attorneys in Montgomery County, it provides peace of mind that your interests are protected in the regrettable event of a divorce or death.
If you bring significant wealth to the marriage or the other party brings a lot of debt, a premarital agreement isolates those assets and liabilities and streamlines the legal process. Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, represents either party in drafting and review of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Call us today (610) 365-4733 for a free consultation at our Norristown and Philadelphia offices.
Premarital & Post-Marital Agreements
You may be wondering what the point of entering into a prenuptial or premarital agreement is when your wedding is right around the corner, since the hope is that you and your spouse would remain in love forever. However, it is important to remember that these agreements are in no way a prediction of the future, but rather a safety net to prevent any problems, no matter how unlikely, from occurring in the future.
Moreover, a prenuptial/premarital agreement can protect a house, business, professional practice, retirement accounts, or inheritance that one party owns before marriage. It also lists student loans, credit card balances, and other substantial debts incurred in one spouse's name. A post-marital agreement is essentially the same except that it is entered at some point after the marriage has already occurred.
Premarital Agreements’ Effects on Children
In a divorce, the parties go their separate ways with what they brought to the marriage. (Any new wealth or debt acquired during marriage is still subject to Pennsylvania's equitable distribution law). For those entering a second marriage, a premarital agreement protects inheritance rights for children of the prior marriage.
Premarital agreements apply only to certain restricted topics, including:
- The property of the two individuals
- Debts and voluntary settlements
- Spousal support
Because of these boundaries, premarital agreements cannot stipulate terms of child custody or waive child support. This is beneficial to the couple, because it allows them to take time to really consider their own interests and consider the qualities they desire for a marriage, rather than trying to worry about too many aspects of premarital planning.
Protect Your Interests Through Premarital Planning
Here at Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, we represent high-asset and independent spouses who want to protect what they have. We also represent the dependent spouse who is asked to sign a prenup. In most cases, we draft the document for couples, and thoroughly review it with clients; everyone enters the contract with eyes open and there are no hidden clauses or surprises.
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