Pennsylvania prenuptial agreements
Premarital agreements usually outline the division of assets and debts and the amount support, if any, that each party will be entitled to in the event of divorce or death. Although prenuptial agreements can be binding on issues of division of property, spousal support and alimony, Pennsylvania law states that prenuptial agreements are not binding on issues of child custody and, on occasion, child support. A man or woman who wants a future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement often has something he or she wants to protect from the Pennsylvania equitable distribution process in the event the marriage fails. One or both potential spouses may want to avoid the risk of a major loss of assets, income, or a family business in the event of a divorce. People marrying for a second time also might desire to make sure that certain assets or personal belongings are passed in the event of death to the children or grandchildren of prior marriages rather than to a current spouse.
Validity of premarital and post-nuptial agreements in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements are considered the same as any other contract parties may enter into and, therefore, are presumed to be valid and enforceable. This presumption can be overcome only if clear and convincing evidence is presented by the spouse seeking to set aside the agreement that the agreement was not entered into voluntarily or that there was not a full and fair disclosure of assets and liabilities of each spouse at the time of the agreement and a waiver of the disclosure was not included in the agreement. In fact, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements are valid and enforceable even if one spouse or prospective spouse does not retain an attorney to review the agreement before they sign the agreement.
Consult an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney
The statements in this guide are based on Pennsylvania law and have been issued to inform and not advise. The statements are general in nature and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here. Please contact an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney who can advise you on the specific application of Pennsylvania laws to your circumstances.