A prenuptial agreement is a way that couples can address division of assets in case of divorce. These agreements are generally governed by the law of contracts and the validity of prenups is specifically discussed in 23 Pa.C.S. Sec. 3106.
A prenuptial agreement is signed before the wedding. While we traditionally think about prenups being used when there are large amounts of money or businesses at stake, prenups can also be useful for second or subsequent marriages when there are children that need to be provided for from a previous relationship. A prenup can be written to include anything that the couple wants.
Pennsylvania court used to consider the fairness of prenups when determining enforceability, but that is no longer the case. Sec. 306 states that the party looking to set aside the agreement must show that one of the following is true:
– the complaining party did not sign the agreement voluntarily (fraud or force was used); or
– prior to signing the agreement, the complaining party was not given a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party and the complaining party did not waive in writing a right to a complete disclosure and the complaining party did not have adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party
If no prenuptial agreement is in place, then Pennsylvania’s laws on division of assets will apply. It is difficult to invalidate a prenup in Pennsylvania, so it is in your best interest to make sure that all of your rights are protected before you sign.
If you are considering using a prenuptial agreement for your marriage or need to have an agreement that given to you reviewed, contact our Berks County family law and divorce attorneys at 610-372-5128 or email us at [email protected]