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You plan for your wedding, so shouldn’t you plan for divorce (even if it never happens)?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Family Law

In Harrisburg, just as in many other places, couples often invest considerable time and effort into planning their weddings to ensure every detail is perfect. While you are confident that you have found the ideal partner, it’s important to remember that life can be unpredictable. Just as you plan meticulously for your wedding day, considering a plan for the unexpected, such as a divorce, might be wise—even if it never comes to pass.

How prenuptial agreements work in Pennsylvania

A prenuptial agreement, commonly called a “prenup,” is a contractual agreement between two individuals who are planning to marry. This agreement outlines the management and division of financial assets and responsibilities, both during the marriage and afterward, if it ends in divorce. The prenup addresses how both separate and marital properties should be handled. While the thought of discussing a prenup might not seem very romantic, considering that approximately 40-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, it is a practical step for many couples.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for those with substantial assets. They also provide an opportunity to protect small family businesses, inheritances, and even personal financial responsibilities, such as child support, from previous relationships. Note that Pennsylvania law does not allow you to include language about child custody or child support.

The benefits of planning ahead

A prenuptial agreement can significantly reduce uncertainty and conflict should a marriage end in divorce. It allows both partners to agree on financial arrangements in calmer times without the emotional strain that a divorce can often bring. The process of creating a prenup encourages open communication about finances, which can strengthen a relationship and provide clarity and reassurance.

Protecting your financial interests

To ensure that the agreement is fair and legally binding, it is crucial that each partner engage their own family law attorney. These attorneys will represent their respective interests and help craft an agreement that respects the wishes and needs of both individuals.