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Prenuptial agreements do more than just property division

It is common for Pennsylvania couples on the cusp of marriage to make plans. Some may spend hours discussing where they will live, where they will work and how many children they will have. The thought of using a prenuptial agreement as part of that planning process is practically blasphemous to some couples in love. People with preconceived notions of prenuptial agreements may believe they are simply an anticipation of divorce and property division. While the prenuptial agreement has gotten a bad reputation, many may not realize the benefits one can bring to a couple getting married.

Couples who are reluctant to discuss sensitive topics like finances and debt may find the agreement process provides an opportunity for a straightforward discussion. For example, couples may learn about or reveal embarrassing debt and then decide to keep those obligations separate from their joint commitments. Having these conversations before taking vows may prevent the disillusionment of money arguments in the future.

Premarital agreements may be beneficial if a spouse owns a business because he or she may choose to legally protect the finances of the business in the event that the marriage becomes unstable. A couple may also decide which assets will be assigned to children of previous relationships or to protect a new spouse from being responsible for debts from those relationships. In addition to guarding future inheritances from division in a divorce proceeding, a prenuptial agreement can allow a couple to designate a spouse to retain family heirlooms.

While a prenuptial agreement does provide a safety net during property division if the couple should divorce, it has immediate benefits, too. Far from ruining the harmony of a couple's wedding plans, a prenuptial agreement may clear the air and open frank dialogue that could save frustration and money arguments in the future. Couples in Pennsylvania who are planning to get married may consider meeting with an attorney to learn how they can benefit from a prenuptial agreement.

Source:, "5 Reasons For a Prenup--Even if You Aren't a Celebrity", Kyung Dickerson, June 24, 2016

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