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Bucks County, Pennsylvania Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

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Bucks County, Pennsylvania Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

 Most people have probably heard of prenuptial agreements, and associate them with rich celebrity marriages.  Most of the time, when we hear about celebrity divorces, there is always a question of whether or not they had a prenuptial agreement and how much money was awarded upon divorce.

For the average person, a prenuptial agreement is probably unnecessary, but there are many people who really should consider a prenup.  If you have what you consider a lot of money, a lot of property, a small business, or may someday inherit one of these things, it may be important to protect your finances with a prenuptial agreement.

Unlike in movies, a prenup does not mean that you do not trust your spouse.  There are plenty of reasons that protecting your assets and keeping them together may be important, especially if you own a business.  If you are in Bucks County and are considering getting a prenuptial agreement, contact the Law Offices of Sadek and Cooper to discuss your options.

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What is a “Prenup”?

Prenuptial agreements, often called “prenups,” are agreements made before marriage to limit how much of one spouse’s assets would be given to the other upon divorce.  The name “prenuptial” simply means “before marriage.”  Many people often mistakenly call this a “prenuptual,” but the proper name is “prenuptial.”

In a Pennsylvania divorce without a prenup, property is usually divided “equitably.”  Most judges think of this as “fairly,” and give each party what they think they deserve from the marital property.  That does not automatically mean each party gets 50% of the property, but often 50% is equitable.  The property that gets divided upon divorce is only “marital property.”  That generally means any property that is gained during the life of the marriage and any increase in value of property owned before the marriage.  The property each party owns before the marriage is referred to as “individual property,” and is usually kept by its owner upon divorce.  There are some exceptions to this general rule, but this is sufficient for a general understanding of marital and individual property.  Many things, though, can grow in value so much that their increase in value can be worth more than the individual property – and would be available for division upon divorce.

The actual method used to protect property in a prenup can vary from case to case.  Sometimes, the agreement is used to exclude increase in value of certain assets from being considered marital property.  Others settle specific amounts that will be awarded upon divorce after a certain number of years.  Others may simply establish what property is individual property, so that upon divorce, the other party does not try to access those assets.

A prenup is not a declaration of mistrust.  Just because you seek a prenup does not mean that you do not trust your spouse or that you plan on getting a divorce – it is simply a financial protection.  Usually, prenups end up being quite fair to the non-wealthy spouse.  Some may even have ways to cancel the agreement in the case of infidelity or abuse, which would remove any limitations on what the non-wealthy spouse can get in division of the marital property.

Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement in PA?

The average person probably does not need a prenuptial agreement, but many people who might think they do not need one may miss their opportunity to get one.  For instance, a small business owner may not be very wealthy when compared to celebrities and business moguls.  If that business owner enters into a marriage while owning a business, then the business grows during the life of the marriage, depending on the way the business is owned, all of that growth could be split with their spouse upon divorce.  That would mean ownership rights, as well as management and control, could be divided between the two spouses upon divorce.  This could be devastating to the business’ management and could harm investors, employees, partners, and the business entity itself.

Farmers, who usually own large pieces of property and may keep their farms run as a business entity, may risk losing a large share of their farm upon divorce.  Since this land and business could be the farmer’s main income, dividing that property could be a dangerous financial move.

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Ultimately, if you have a lot of money, property, unique assets, or own a business, you may be hurting yourself down the road to enter into a marriage without a prenuptial agreement.

Call a Bucks County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney of Sadek & Cooper

If you live in Bucks County and are considering getting a prenuptial agreement for your marriage, you should speak to an attorney who has experience working with prenups.  The Law Offices of Sadek and Cooper serve the greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, and handle all kinds of family law matters, including prenuptial agreements.  For a consultation, call 215-814-0395.

 

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