Drafting a Post-Nuptial Agreement in Pennsylvania
It's advisable for couples getting married to draft prenuptial agreements. These legally binding documents can protect the best interests of both parties involved. When a couple skips the prenuptial agreement, but still want the benefits of an agreement, they can draft what's called a postnuptial agreement.
While postnuptial agreements aren't always as beneficial as prenuptial agreements, they are much better than having no agreement at all. Postnuptial agreements can simplify the divorce process if the marriage ever ends.
The Pennsylvania family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. have the knowledge and experience it takes to help you draft a postnuptial agreement. We can guide you through the process, helping to draft a secure and beneficial agreement that helps protect your individual assets.
First, it's important to understand that you can never exercise too much caution. If you're creating a business, you will want an agreement between you and your business partners that spells out expectations and responsibilities. Over half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. So, you wouldn't really be overreacting if you were to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Everyone has some tangible assets when entering a marriage. It is common for individuals to fail to create lists of their belongings before marriage. Write down your personal belongings, including just about everything with value. This should include pets, jewelry, art, and everything that is precious to you.
Then, write down financial assets you had before the marriage, such as stocks and bonds, annuities, IRAs, frequent flier miles, and savings accounts. Make a list of family heirlooms you have. There are a few things that can cause as much heartbreak during a divorce as losing family heirlooms. Keep in mind that the agreement can cover preferences that are not actual belongings as well. For example, it may prove useful to write out who gets to continue using the gardener, cleaner, trainer, and personal assistant.
Postnuptial agreements are more difficult to defend in court than prenuptial agreements. So, it's important that they're drafted correctly. It is equally important to update the agreement from time to time. Adapting the agreement as the circumstances of the marriage change will keep the document relevant and enforceable.
It's also important that proper steps get taken to strengthen the postnuptial agreement. Both parties must agree to the terms of the agreement and sign the document. Both spouses should have a lawyer review the document. Postnuptial agreements are often disputed in court on the grounds that one party didn't have proper legal representation when they signed the document.
Postnuptial agreements aren't as easily defended as prenuptial agreements, but they can prove useful. If you have assets you wish to protect, make sure you have an agreement in place before or even after your marriage. You have a right to your belongings no matter what happens in your relationships.
Contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. at (610) 645-0100 or (866) 290-9292 to schedule your free consultation.
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