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Postnuptial Agreements In Pennsylvania
A “prenup” may not have been pertinent or possible before you married. But circumstances change and issues arise during a marriage.
If you have been married for several years, it may now be prudent to protect your separate property or your children’s inheritance through a postnuptial or midnuptial agreement.
The attorneys at Rowe Law Offices, P.C., will explain your options during a face-to-face consultation. We assist clients in Berks, Lancaster, York, Schuylkill and Montgomery counties and the Lehigh Valley.
What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement — also known as a midnuptial, postmarital or “postnup” agreement — is a contract between spouses who are already married. Like a prenuptial agreement, it lays out certain terms in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements commonly address property division, the marital residence, alimony and related matters. However, they cannot dictate child custody or child support levels.
A postnuptial/midnuptial agreement can be entered at any point — the same year as the wedding or after 25 years or marriage. Such agreements are generally enforceable if they are entered freely, without coercion or deception.
Why Would I Want A Midnuptial Agreement?
There are many scenarios in which a postnuptial agreement may be appropriate and prudent:
- Preserving separate property — A postnuptial can specify that assets owned prior to marriage, such as a house, revert to that spouse. It can also protect a gift or inheritance received during marriage or a business or professional practice that one spouse has built.
- Complex estates — Pensions, investments, bank accounts, real estate or business interests can become commingled during marriage, creating a marital property interest. A postnuptial can clarify “yours and mine” to streamline property division in divorce.
- Protecting inheritance rights — If you have children from a prior marriage, you can ensure that some or all of your marital assets will go to them in the event of divorce or death. Without a midnuptial waiver, state law might dictate that your stepchildren or your ex-spouse inherit your children’s share.
- A show of good faith — In a troubled marriage (for example, infidelity), a midnuptial agreement can help to rebuild trust and stability. I want our marriage to survive, but if not, I agree to these fair and favorable terms. It may be the only way to move forward.
It’s Not Cynical To Want Peace Of Mind
A postnuptial agreement does not mean a divorce is inevitable. But if it comes to that, you have the framework for a settlement and you may avoid unnecessary litigation.