While many of us in Wyomissing think of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements as being something reserved exclusively for the rich, they are important family law tools that anyone can use. These agreements help to provide financial security for spouses in the event of a divorce, a time when most people are worried about what they will have left following the separation. Of course, there is a reason why so many people associate these agreements with the rich — they have been using them for a long time to protect the assets they had prior to marriage.
Though often lumped together, a postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage has been entered into. This may not seem like a big difference, but because they can be signed at any point following a marriage, a postnuptial agreement can cover a considerable amount of real and personal property that might otherwise have been considered marital property under Pennsylvania law.
In a recent story about a couple that both came from real estate empires, the use of a postnuptial agreement helped to protect a wife from her husband’s bad investments. After the New York City couple divorced, many of the assets were retained in the wife’s name, protecting them against creditors, lawsuits and bankruptcy. After a series of bad investments and the bust of the real estate bubble, the wife wanted to make sure her financial security was protected.
Again, pre- and postnuptial agreements are not restricted to the rich. Many people in Berks County draft and sign these agreements every day in an effort to better protect their assets from the possibility of divorce.
Source: The New York Times, “With fortune falling, a 1 percent divorce,” Julie Creswell, Feb. 1, 2014