Prenuptial Agreements: Securing Your Future

Getting married can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. One component of wedding planning that is often overlooked is consideration of what will happen if the parties get divorced. People are rarely thinking about divorce as they are preparing to get married. The reality is, however, that over half of all marriages end in divorce. That being said, the process can be made much easier if the parties have a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two individuals in contemplation of marriage. A prenup is intended to set forth how the parties will divide property upon divorce or death. Not everyone needs a prenup. Prenups are often recommended in the following cases:

• One or both individual have substantial separate property and/or assets;
• One or both individuals have their own business;
• One or both individuals is anticipated to receive an inheritance.
• One of both individual wants to resolve any future divorce outside of what typically happens pursuant to the Divorce Code

Effective prenuptial agreements address disposition of the parties’ marital and separate property upon death or divorce. Prenups will also set forth how parties will handle marital and separate debts and can provide terms for alimony, alimony pendente lite and spousal support.

Prenuptial agreements are interpreted using contract law principles. That means that a prenup is presumed to be a valid and enforceable agreement unless there has been fraud, misrepresentation or duress. To be enforceable, the parties must also make a full and fair disclosure of all assets and liabilities. It is important for both parties to have legal counsel review the agreement to ensure that it is not challenged later in divorce proceedings.

If you or someone you know is getting married and interested in finding out more information on prenuptial agreements, click or call 610-892-3877.

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About the author

About Melissa Towsey

Melissa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 with a double major in Sociology and Foreign Affairs. After working for several years as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., she attended The University of Villanova School of Law and graduated in 2010. During law school, Melissa was involved in several public interest organizations and published an article in Villanova’s Environmental Law Journal, “Something Stinks: The Need for Environmental Regulation of Puppy Mills” 21 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 159 (2010) After law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Thomas G. Parisi, Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County. Melissa is the supervising attorney of the firm’s Appellate Unit. The Appellate Unit handles all aspects of the appellate process for family law cases as well as advanced research within the firm. Melissa and her husband, Paul, reside in Montgomery County with their two cats Wembley and Gobo. In her spare time, she enjoys audiobooks, barbeques, and watching action movies.