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Philadelphia Family Lawyer > Blog > Family Law > Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Philadelphia?

Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Philadelphia?


With around half of all marriages ending in divorce, prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular across the United States. Today, married couples are preparing for their weddings by protecting their interests should their marriage fail. While it may seem a bit like “preparing for a divorce,” the alternative is that you allow the state’s rules to govern how your assets are divided, whether you are awarded or have to pay alimony, and how debts are managed. Modern couples are increasingly interested in having more control over how their assets are distributed post-divorce.

Under Pennsylvania law, marital assets are divided according to what is considered equitable. In other states, marital assets are divided 50/50. This generally means that the lower-earning spouse is entitled to more of the marital estate than the higher-earning spouse. This also means that a spouse in a divorce may be entitled to partial ownership of a business that was started by the other spouse. In many cases, this results in drawn-out court battles that cost both parties thousands of dollars in legal fees. A prenuptial agreement can avoid major pitfalls down the road.

Why should I consider a prenuptial agreement? 

One myth perpetrated by television and movies is that prenuptial agreements are only for the very wealthy. This is not the case at all. Anyone with assets can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Most people have at least some assets that they want to protect.

Let’s say you have a baseball card collection. All of the cards that you purchased prior to the marriage would be considered your separate property under state law. However, any new cards purchased during the marriage would be considered marital property. That means that those cards would be subject to equitable distribution during the divorce. If you want to protect your baseball card collection, you will need to specify that in a prenuptial agreement.

Benefits of a prenuptial agreement 

One of the main benefits of a prenuptial agreement is that it lets you specify what is and is not marital property. In other words, it allows you to define specific assets as separate property and thus protect them from equitable distribution. So, you would get to keep your baseball card collection regardless of how many cards you purchased during the marriage.

A sufficiently well-drafted prenuptial agreement can completely avoid court involvement when it comes to equitably distributing the marital estate. For example, you can decide what happens to the marital home in a prenuptial agreement. This avoids extended court proceedings which can result in numerous court appearances and legal fees. This further reduces the amount of conflict between you and your spouse since you have already decided on the matter together.

Further, if you want to specify that a particular credit card is the sole liability of one spouse, you can do so in a prenuptial agreement. This would prevent that credit card from becoming “marital property” and the liability of both spouses.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to a prenuptial agreement and in most cases, both spouses benefit from the arrangement.

Talk to a Philadelphia Family Law Attorney Today 

The Philadelphia family lawyers at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane represent the interests of spouses who are looking to hammer out a prenuptial agreement. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin addressing your needs right away.

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