For example, some couples prefer to keep their income separate after marriage. But simply banking separately does not make income separate for divorce distribution purposes. All income earned during marriage is marital property, whether or not it is banked jointly or separately. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can protect income from distribution in divorce.
And if one party owns valuable property prior to marriage, it is important that couples know that the growth in value of that premarital property becomes marital property over the years of the marriage. Thus, a premarital home owned by one party, if it increases in value during the marriage due to mortgage pay-down and or market trends, can be subject to valuation and distribution later divorce proceedings simply because it grew in value.
Couples can also chose to decide issues like alimony, spousal support and rights to the marital home before they marry. Sometimes, simply consulting with an attorney skilled in prenuptial agreement drafting can produce a better understanding of the economic effect of marriage.
In choosing a lawyer to draft your prenuptial agreement you should choose an attorney who not only drafts prenuptial agreements but has solid experience in litigating challenges to those agreements. Jane Maughan drafts prenuptial agreements and has successfully litigated prenuptial agreement challenges both at the trial level and including appeal challenges in the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
The drafting process should never be rushed or hasty, so at Jane Maughan, P.C. we require at least six months before a scheduled wedding date to commence the process of drafting a prenuptial agreement.
If you need assistance and advice in considering whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement, we look forward to helping you.
Please note that we may not advise a couple together, but can only provide prenuptial agreement services to one of the parties. The ethical rules that guide and regulate lawyers’ conduct in Pennsylvania do not permit representation of both parties in these circumstances. The unrepresented party should retain separate counsel and is free to enter into the agreement without hiring separate counsel.