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Entering a marriage with property? Get a prenup

Though many people in Chalfont may think that dividing marital property between spouses is far less emotional and stressful than figuring out child custody and support, they may be surprised to learn how far couples will go to protect their property rights. It makes sense that each individual wants to make sure that he or she is being dealt a fair hand when the shared property is divided; no one wants to be given far less than he or she deserves. After all, Pennsylvania calls for an equitable distribution of property.

But what about the property that each individual had prior to marriage? People are getting married latter these days and it is not unreasonable to assume that some people will already own homes or substantial pieces of personal property before they get married. There are also some people on their second marriages who have a signficant amount of money or property  that they would like to protect in case of divorce. For these people, a prenuptial agreement, or a "prenup," is an excellent option.

In a carefully drafted prenup, a family law attorney will specify who owns what prior to the marriage. If A owns a house, a car and a vacation home and doesn't want B to get them if they later divorce, his or her prenuptial agreement will classify these as separate property. Without a prenup, that property could be lumped together with A and B's shared property, which would make it subject to equitable distribution.

Moreover, prenuptial agreements can dictate how shared or marital property should be divided. Perhaps B knows he or she will want the marital home but will be willing to give up his or her claims to A's retirement account. If that is spelled out in the prenup and deemed to be fairly contracted, a judge will divide the property according to the agreement.

Source: Forbes, “Can A Prenup Or A Postnup With An Infidelity Clause Deter A Husband From Cheating?” Jeff Landers, March 13, 2014

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