If you are getting married without much accumulated wealth, you may want to enter into a postnuptial agreement later in life when you have acquired certain property. However, it is not uncommon for people to get married later in life, while accumulating significant assets before the marriage, so they would benefit from a prenuptial agreement. When negotiating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, both parties should disclose all of their premarital assets in the agreement and should be careful to list everything they want to keep separate. Any property a party fails to disclose may be considered a marital asset. These agreements may be modified later if the parties agree to do so in writing. Both parties should also have their own attorneys who will review the agreement and advise the parties on its terms. This should be done well in advance of the marriage ceremony or wedding.
Pennsylvania Second Marriage Asset Protection.
An example of where a person can benefit from a prenuptial agreement is a second marriage when the individual has children and obligations from a prior marriage and assets accumulated before the second marriage. If you do get divorced and decide to remarry again—or even if you are in a relationship—you should take steps to protect the interests of your children from the first marriage. Otherwise, the children of your new spouse, who are not your children, may receive the money you earned before your remarriage, instead of your children to whom the money rightfully belongs. Proper Estate Planning and Asset Protection before the second marriage may include a prenuptial agreement, Trusts and Business Succession Planning. Proper planning and asset protection during the second marriage may include a joint Will and a postnuptial agreement.
The common perception is “I have nothing that the other person or their children can take”. But stop and think: a house, apartment, pension plans, and retirement accounts must all be considered, not just the money you have in the bank or stocks, bonds and other liquid assets. It is essential to revise your Will and, where possible and practical, Trusts and other forms of estate planning. Your tax issues, health care issues, health care decision making, and long-term home care and nursing home care must be contemplated. The prenuptial agreement signed before the second marriage should clearly delineate the rights and responsibilities of both spouses.
Attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy has extensive experience with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and their nuances, including in marriages and Divorces. Just like any other agreement, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts, subject to the same fair negotiations, formation and signature requirements, and defenses. If issues arise concerning the validity of any parts of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or enforcement of the agreement is necessary, the Law Offices of Leo Mikityanskiy litigates these agreements in courts in Bucks County and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, including during or after a divorce.
A well-drafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will help you protect your rights and define your obligations with respect to marital issues, including:
- Alimony or Spousal Support based on income and income capabilities of the parties.
- Marital or joint property and equitable distribution in case of Legal Separation or divorce.
- Premarital assets that are kept separate: real estate, bank accounts, investments.
- Gifts and inheritances (although an inheritance to one spouse is considered a non-marital asset under Pennsylvania law, there is still a significant possibility of commingling the inheritance with marital assets, which would subject it to equitable distribution in a divorce).
- Separate and joint debts.
- Procedures for Divorce or annulment.
- Child Custody and Child Support.
- Mixed families and children from prior relationships.
- Business ownership and Business Succession Planning.
- Pension plans.
- Estate rights.
- Tax consequences of marriage or divorce.
- Household expenses.
- Life insurance and medical insurance coverage.
The Law Offices of Leo Mikityanskiy represents clients in matrimonial matters concerning prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Bucks County and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Contact experienced Bucks County, PA Family Law attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy at our Feasterville, PA office at (215) 357-1400 to discuss your prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divorce matters today.
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