Who Benefits from a Prenuptial Agreement?

July 29, 2016 | Blog, Prenuptial Agreements

Icon for author David Pollock David Pollock

The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides that in 2015, there were 72,774 marriages statewide.  During that same year, there were 33,600 divorces and annulments.  These statistics suggest that many, if not thousands, of Pittsburgh residents would have benefited from a prenuptial agreement clarifying the spouses’ financial responsibilities.

Spouses Who Should Consider Premarital Agreements

Who benefits from having a Pennsylvania prenuptial agreement?  Many people think that only billionaires have a financial need for a prenuptial agreement, but the truth is that many individuals can benefit for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To keep the family’s wealth and business in the family: Whether you are a small business owner or a co-owner of a multi-million-dollar family business, if your marriage fails, a divorce can have devastating financial consequences for you, your family members and even your employees.  When a Pittsburgh couple files for divorce, their assets are categorized as marital or non-marital.  A family business can be specifically exempted from martial property with the execution of a well drafted and signed prenuptial agreement.  Without such an agreement, however, your former spouse may end up keeping an interest in the family business, making it difficult or even impossible to manage the day-to-day operations.  One failed marriage can result in a business that has been in your family for generations being altered forever.
  • To help parents deal with issues related to children from prior marriages: When one or both spouses have children from prior relationships, they may agree on the dollar amount of any inheritance that will pass to those children.  But what if those intentions are not put into writing?  How do you make sure that your children receive their inheritance if you pass away before your spouse?  A Pittsburgh prenuptial attorney can review your situation and draft a prenuptial agreement that provides the very protection that your children need and deserve.
  • To assist couples with different spending habits or debt tolerance: Do you have mounds of credit card debt?  Or does your spouse love to splurge on expensive items without consideration to your monthly budget?  A prenuptial agreement can address these issues and spell out which spouse is responsible for the payment of those debts in the event of a divorce.
  • To guide couples who have cohabitated or acquired property together before they are formally married: In many relationships, a dating couple purchases a residence prior to the date of the marriage, oftentimes with one spouse paying the majority of any down payment. A prenuptial agreement can spell out the way this down payment is paid back or specify which spouse is to retain ownership of the home in the event of a divorce.
  • To help couples who want to preserve premarital assets or contributions to joint assets: It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have assets prior to the date of the marriage.  A prenuptial attorney can review this listing of premarital assets and make certain that they are protected and returned to their original owner after a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is a complex document.  While the Internet has many fill-in-the-blank forms and websites that promote do-it-yourself documents, a prenuptial agreement that is not that well drafted can have devastating financial effects, including the loss of premarital assets.

At Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, our team of Pittsburgh prenuptial lawyers are prepared to review your individual circumstances and will work with you to draft a prenuptial agreement that protects all of your financial interests and assets.  Call today at (412) 471-9000 or use our online contact form.

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