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The Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

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Today’s litigious society combined with an unstable economic climate can make for long, messy divorces. To many people, marriage is a sacramental and spiritual union of two individuals who are making a commitment to sharing their lives together. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that marriage is still a contract. As with any standard contractual agreement, there are safeguards and provisions that can be put in place to protect the interests of both parties in the event of breach or dissolution. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that spouses-to-be enter into prior to getting married. The content of the agreement can vary, but the most common provisions are for asset and property division as well as spousal support in the event that the couple gets divorced.

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At Sadek and Cooper, our legal team can draft a contract that will protect the interests of both you and your significant other, so that should you decide to get divorced, you will not be in and out of court fighting over property and finances. Once we get an idea of how you would like to divide property, assets, and finances in the event that the marriage dissolves, we can draft a prenuptial agreement that can give you both peace of mind going forward.

Interests That Are Protected by Prenuptial Agreements

Before getting into the advantages and disadvantages of prenuptial agreements, it is important to know exactly what a prenuptial agreement is, and how it operates upon divorce. As stated above, a prenuptial agreement is a signed and notarized contract that is made between spouses before they get married. It outlines plans for division of assets, property, and finances in the event of separation, divorce, or death. A common misconception is that prenuptial agreements are for the very rich. Prenuptial agreements can benefit any couple and save a lot of time and money in the future if a couple decides to divorce. Some common provisions of prenuptial agreements are as follows:

  • Division of property on divorce
  • Distribution of property on death
  • Ownership of the marital residence
  • Defined pre-marital and marital property
  • Responsibility for pre-marital debts
  • Alimony obligations
  • Provide for children from previous relationships

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This list is not exhaustive, and there are certainly many different interests that a prenuptial can protect. Prenuptial agreements are tailored to each couple and what is important to them. There are some interests that a prenuptial agreement cannot protect. These interests are listed below:

  • Waiver of alimony rights
  • Plans for child support
  • Plans for child custody
  • Provision involving anything illegal
  • Any unconscionable provision
  • Any provision that appears to encourage divorce

Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement

Another common misconception about prenuptial agreements is that it sets a marriage up for failure. Prenuptial agreements are not designed to encourage or push divorce, and any provision that hints to this is not allowed to be included in the agreement. There are many benefits to signing a prenuptial agreement aside from saving time and money in the future. Below is a list of some of these benefits:

  • Protection of current and future inheritances
  • Discussing finances before marriage can prevent future arguments
  • Protection of a business or businesses owned by either spouse
  • Clarifying who is responsible for debts of either party
  • Addresses spending habits of the individuals
  • Facilitates effective communication

Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement

As important as it is to be logical and realistic when thinking about what could happen in the future, we do live in a society that likes to believe in the happily ever after fairytale. Signing a prenuptial agreement can sometimes taint a romantic union that is supposed to be “until death do us part.” Below is a list of disadvantages to signing a prenuptial agreement:

  • Awkward conversation
  • Implication that the marriage is temporary
  • Its provisions could be a burden for either parties if circumstances change
  • It could be a deal breaker if the parties cannot agree on a provision
  • The content and validity of the agreement rests in the hands of a judge
  • Judgment and opinions of family and friends

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Philadelphia Divorce Attorney

If you are about to get married and are looking for a firm that can provide a comprehensive overview of the issues and nuances surrounding prenuptial agreements, the attorneys at Sadek & Cooper can help. We are a group of experienced divorce attorneys who can draft a prenuptial agreement that protects the interests of you and your spouse. Our knowledge and experience of the issues surrounding divorce will allow us to create an agreement that is clear and fair to both spouses and their future interests. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation, call our Philadelphia law firm at (215) 814-0395. We have offices conveniently located in Center City, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, and Moorestown New Jersey.

 

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