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Are There Any Downsides To A Premarital Agreement?


Premarital agreements have many benefits and can provide a lot of protection for a couple in the event they get a divorce. However, like anything else, they are not always perfect and they can have potential downsides. Below are some of the biggest problems associated with premarital agreements, and how a family lawyer can help you avoid them.

Estate Planning Issues

In Pennsylvania, surviving spouses are entitled to all or a portion of their deceased spouse’s estate, even when the deceased individual does not include their spouse in their will. A premarital agreement, however, may result in one spouse forfeiting his or her right to his or her portion of the estate when such a provision is included.

Business Issues

When one spouse has a business, and the other spouse contributes to the success and growth of that business, they are entitled to a portion of the business in the event of divorce. When a premarital agreement defines the business as the separate property of the person that owns the business, a spouse may have to give up the share that is rightfully his or hers.

Fostering a Lack of Trust

Premarital agreements are not necessarily considered the romance killers that they once were. However, discussing what will happen in the event of divorce before the wedding has even occurred, can instill a lack of trust between one or both parties. The couple may not always agree on what should be considered marital or separate property, or a dispute may arise about other terms of a premarital agreement. When the parties cannot resolve these disputes quickly, it can cause resentment to build, which may be harmful to the relationship.

Changing Situations

It is challenging to look into the future and consider how certain issues should be handled. A spouse may start a business during the marriage that was not a consideration at the time the agreement was made, or a lower-earning spouse may end up becoming the breadwinner of the family. When premarital agreements do not address these issues, the contract may not provide the protection it was intended to.

Unfair Compromises Might be Made

During the most romantic phase of a relationship, the time before a wedding, one or both parties may be so worried about preserving the relationship that they make unfair compromises. This can result in he or she forfeiting what would be considered rightfully his or hers during divorce, which is a common drawback of premarital agreements.

Our Family Lawyer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey Can Draft Your Agreement

While premarital agreements can have some drawbacks, they hold many more benefits for couples when they are properly drafted. At the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane, our Philadelphia family lawyer can draft an agreement that does not compromise your rights and that will provide the full protection you may need in the future. Call us today at (215) 918-9453 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can create an agreement that is right for your specific situation.

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