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Reasons to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Pennsylvania couples who are planning their marriages might want to consider a prenuptial agreement, and they might want to think about a post-nuptial agreement if they are already married. While it may be impossible to imagine a divorce before even getting married, a prenup can actually strengthen a relationship and can protect people later if the marriage falters.

Financial issues and poor communication are two of the main reasons that marriages end in divorce. Creating a prenuptial agreement forces people to communicate effectively about finances. Some of the topics that a prenup might address include how assets and debts will be split in divorce, who owns what property, and whether alimony will be paid. Issues regarding child support or custody cannot be addressed in a prenup.

A postnup is an option for couples who are already married but who may not have had time to write a prenup or who have begun to be concerned about how assets will be divided if there is a divorce. One example of a successful postnup is in the high-profile divorce of Matt Lauer and Annette Rocque, whose split could have become contentious since it involves controversy around Lauer. People should work with attorneys to make sure their prenups are prepared correctly since they can be successfully challenged.

The division of assets is usually simpler with a prenup or postnup, but couples who do not have one may still be able to reach an agreement they both feel is fair through negotiation. Negotiations over property division may become complex if one person owns a business or there are complicated assets. For example, dividing pension plans or 401(k) requires a document called a qualified domestic relations order.

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