Famous couples and not so famous couples get divorced a lot. We hear about this famous person got divorced and had a prenup, this famous person did not have a prenup. However, premarital agreements are not just for the rich and famous. These type of agreements can be a very useful tool for the modern day couple. The premarital agreement is a contract that can customize or change what you may be entitled to under the laws of Pennsylvania at death or divorce.
For example, if you are entering your second marriage and have children from a previous marriage, a premarital agreement is one method to ensure your children are protected. If you come into your first or second marriage with significant assets or you own a business; you may want to protect your wealth accumulation that occurred prior to the marriage.
With gay marriage now legalized, gay couples should also consider these documents as part of a plan. Because once you are married in Pennsylvania, your spouse is entitled to a share of your estate at death. This is called the elective share. What this means is that if you try to cut your spouse out of your will, your spouse can take a portion of your assets. A creative premarital agreement can waive this provision, but give the person waiving it other advantages in the agreement.
The most important thing to remember about premarital agreements is that they are part of a broader plan for you and your spouse. The stigma about getting a premarital agreement is no longer as prevalent. As a practical matter, people understand the divorce rate is high at 50% for first marriages and for second and third marriages the divorce rate is even higher.
It is important to discuss options with your attorney. in our office, we tailor these agreements to your situation.
What these agreements can do is open up lines of communication for you and your spouse about difficult topics prior to marriage.The agreement can actually save you expense, even if you end up getting divorced.