Montgomery County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
When people have children, they usually buy life insurance policies. They do not want or expect to die early, but they want to be prepared for the unexpected. Along the same lines, no one anticipates a divorce. But a prenuptial agreement helps these families be prepared for the unexpected. Furthermore, as outlined below, a prenup is not just divorce insurance. In many ways, prenups make marriages stronger.
The experienced Montgomery County prenuptial attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand know how to leverage premarital agreements so they have the greatest benefit for your family, both now and in the future. We know how to craft these agreements in such a way that they are equitable for the other spouse and they protect your rights. Later, if the need arises, we handle challenges to premarital agreements, so we once again protect your rights.
Making a Prenuptial Agreement
Money is one of the leading causes of marital strife. And, an effective premarital agreement resolves these disagreements in advance, so they never have a chance to erode your relationship.
Premarital agreements classify property as marital or nonmarital. The classification process is often the most expensive and time-consuming portion of a Montgomery County marriage dissolution. Furthermore, the spouses can amend premarital agreements at will, when their financial or other circumstances change.
Additionally, premarital agreements usually clearly establish property management rights and responsibilities. Once again, these common territorial disputes never have a chance to poison your relationship.
Other financial matters often include spousal support limits. Frequently, these limitations include stair step provisions. The longer the marriage lasts, the less the restrictions become. Such provisions eliminate the need for frequent modifications.
Prenups can also cover inheritance and succession matters. These issues are especially important if the couple has a family business.
Child custody and child support are about the only off-limits areas. These decisions must be in the best interests of the children, as opposed to the best interests of the parents.
Breaking a Prenuptial Agreement
Pennsylvania has yet to adopt the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. As outlined below, the grounds for breaking an unfair premarital agreement are largely the same. The big difference is the burden of proof. Challenging spouses must establish unfairness by clear and convincing evidence. That’s one step below beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard of proof in Pennsylvania law.
Typically, prenups are invalid if they are involuntary or unconscionable. Both these words have specific meanings in this context.
- Involuntary: Agreements are involuntary if one spouse forced the other spouse to sign. The pressure must almost be tantamount to physical force. Emotional heat, no matter how intense, is usually insufficient. Alternatively, an agreement could be involuntary if the challenging spouse did not know what s/he was signing because the other spouse withheld critical information.
- Unconscionable: A 70/30 division is uneven but not unconscionable. A division like “I get all the assets and you get all the debts” is usually unconscionable. Moreover, the agreement must have been unconscionable when it was made. Stock shares, which could be worthless one day and valuable the next, often come into play here.
Most prenuptial agreements have severability clauses. If a judge invalidates one part, the rest remains in force.
Count on a Dedicated Attorney
Prenups make certain marriages stronger and potential divorces easier. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Montgomery County, contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Convenient payment plans are available.