Divorce Law

Although many attorneys, including myself, preach about having a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, it is concerning how many people, especially those who have a high net worth, those entering into a second, third, or more marriages, or those who have children enter into a marriage without a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a formal agreement or contract entered into before marriage in which the future spouses agree to provisions for equitable distribution of assets, debts and spousal support in case they divorce in the future or if they wish to provide for what happens to assets in the event of death by waiving a spousal election which is provided for in each state under the state law. Future spouses can also discuss current financial positions and how finances are going to be handled during the marriage, which spouse’s will would control in the event of death.
The general purpose is for future spouses to think about and decide, prior to a marriage, their rights and duties concerning financial issues. If one or both parties have a substantial income, assets or debts these agreements may be a good option so that both parties have a clear financial picture of the other spouse.
If one spouse has significant assets in contrast to the other spouse or had to pay a large sum in a previous divorce, a prenuptial agreement can put one's mind at ease that there is no more unknown when it comes to asset division in the case of a divorce
What are the requirements of a prenuptial agreement?
• The agreement is in writing,
• Signed by both spouses, and notarized.
• It must be accompanied by a statement of assets and includes an estimated net worth as well as previous tax and salary information for both parties.
• The agreement cannot be the result of fraud or duress.
• The parties understood and accepted the terms and conditions of the agreement, agreed to it voluntarily and had enough time to think about it prior to signing it. This includes the opportunity for both parties to consult with their own attorneys and make changes to or discuss points in the document.
• The agreement is fair and not "unconscionable," which it may be even if what one spouse receives is small or disproportionate compared to what the other spouse receives, as long as one spouse is not left destitute.
Prenuptial agreements, like any contract, can be changed with the agreement by both parties.

The risk of not having a prenuptial agreement is that in the event of a divorce, the other spouse can take 50% or more of the marital assets, especially if the other spouse is in a lower financial position and/or the money taken during a divorce can adversely affect the payor spouse’s children.

None of this is romantic, but it is a necessary evil to protect what a person’s assets and takes away the unknown in the event of a divorce.

It is important to have an experience family law attorney to discuss your situation and prepare a prenuptial agreement that meets your individual needs.

Whether you wish to discuss a prenuptial agreement or are contemplating a divorce, contact the Law Office of Robin J .Gray at (484) 769-5855 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would be happy to assist you with your legal needs.

 

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9.1Robin Jean Gray IIUSA

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