Many people are familiar with prenuptial agreements but are not as familiar with a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can serve to protect each parties’ assets as well as make the process of equitable distribution simpler in the event of dissolution of the marriage.
A postnuptial agreement can assist married couples in how their assets would be divided in the occurrence of a divorce and/or separation. In Pennsylvania postnuptial agreements have been on the rise as a way for couples who wish to clearly distinguish what is part of the marital estate and what will be considered separate property of the parties.
A postnuptial agreement does not necessarily mean that the parties are contemplating divorce but rather it sets forth property that the parties both mutually agree should be separate from the marital estate. The Pennsylvania courts have consistently upheld the validity of properly executed postnuptial agreements.
For an agreement to be considered properly executed the parties must make full financial disclosure within the four corners of the document. The document must be signed by both parties and the document must be notarized.
A postnuptial agreement allows both parties to essentially lay out what assets they currently hold and determine what should be subject to division and what should remain as individual property.
The agreement itself is considered a contractual agreement between the parties and thus is upheld and enforced as any contract would be. These agreements can be a useful tool for parties to protect certain assets that were acquired after the marriage occurred. They can be used to protect a wide variety of assets including both real and personal property.
Parties are sometimes hesitant to enter into a prenuptial agreement for a variety of reasons but with a postnuptial agreement it gives the parties the option to protect assets after the occurrence of the marriage.
It is typically recommended that both parties have their own counsel for the purposes of both interpretation of the document and fairness. A postnuptial agreement can be a great tool to allow parties to deal equitably and reach a mutual agreement if dissolution of the marriage were to occur.
By making these financial disclosures during the marriage not only will it allow your partner to have an understanding of the assets, but it will also allow for open communication among the parties. In the event of the dissolution of the marriage the parties will have an understanding of what assets are held and can defer to the agreement as to how they will be divided.
If a postnuptial agreement is something that you feel is applicable for you, please contact Rick Law and an experienced attorney will be happy to assist you in the execution of the agreement.
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