Should you get a postnuptial agreement?
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Should you get a postnuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | divorce

When many people think of marriage, they envision shared dreams, assets and a life built together. However, life is unpredictable, and circumstances change. While prenuptial agreements made before tying the knot have become more accepted and familiar, postnuptial agreements made after saying “I do” are less commonly discussed. Still, there are reasons why Pennsylvania couples might consider entering one.

A postnuptial agreement in Pennsylvania can be a protective measure, not necessarily an indication of an impending divorce. It is helpful to know why you should consider getting a postnuptial agreement and what you should know before deciding.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement, like its prenuptial counterpart, is a written contract between spouses. The difference is that a married couple makes a postnuptial agreement after they are already married. It outlines how they will divide assets and debts should the marriage end in divorce or upon the death of a spouse.

Why consider a postnuptial agreement?

  1. Change in financial status: If one spouse suddenly comes into a significant amount of money, either through inheritance, lottery or business dealings, a postnuptial agreement can protect those assets.
  2. Debt concerns: If one spouse incurs significant debt, a postnuptial agreement can protect the other from being responsible for it.
  3. Children from prior relationships: A postnuptial agreement can ensure that children from a previous relationship receive certain assets or financial support.
  4. Reconciliation after separation: If you have separated from your spouse but then reconciled, you might want a postnuptial agreement as part of starting fresh.

While an agreement can cover a variety of assets and scenarios, it cannot determine child custody or child support arrangements. Pennsylvania law requires that decisions about children prioritize their best interests.

What should you keep in mind?

If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, remember that it must be in writing, and both parties must sign it. Both parties should fully disclose their financial situations. The terms of the agreement must be fair to both parties. If there is any indication of coercion or if the terms heavily favor one party, the agreement might not be upheld in court.

A postnuptial agreement is a practical tool that provides clarity and protection for both spouses. Life brings about unexpected changes, and while no one enters into a marriage expecting it to end, it is wise to prepare for every possibility. If you are thinking about a postnuptial agreement, weigh the pros and cons and determine if it is right for your unique situation.


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