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Weddings are a happy, exciting, and very busy time. While making plans, spending time with family, and celebrating, you and your fiancé should not forget to have a conversation about a prenuptial agreement. Abom and Kutulakis can ensure that you have a properly drafted and executed prenuptial agreement to serve as a very strong and effective tool which permits you and your fiancé to devise a plan for your future.
In the agreement, you may determine your rights and obligations during your marriage, and upon divorce and death. The same goals may be reached after you are married — with a postnuptial agreement. Your agreement, once signed, will be enforced in Pennsylvania just as any other contract would be, provided there was proper financial disclosure, no fraud, and you did not sign it under duress. Further bolstering the strength of such agreements is the fact that a court cannot modify the terms of your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement unless the agreement specifically permits it.
Upon a dispute between the parties, the “fairness” of the agreement is not a consideration; in fact, very often, an agreement is drafted in a way that favors one party over the other. While you may be motivated to protect your assets and income as you contemplate marriage, you may also be waiving your rights under the Pennsylvania Divorce Code and Probate Code. If those waivers are included in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you would be prohibited from seeking the following upon marital separation and/or divorce:
- Equitable distribution of marital property;
- Spousal support;
- Alimony pendente lite;
- Alimony; and
- Counsel fees, costs, and expenses of the divorce litigation.
You may also be waiving your rights as a surviving spouse under the Pennsylvania Probate Code, again, depending upon the specific language of your agreement.
To be sure that the plan for your future is a good one, our attorneys will guide well in advance of saying “I do.” We will explain your options, answer your questions, and write or review a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that fits you, your spouse, and your marriage.