Many Pennsylvania couples who are planning on getting married opt to negotiate a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot. This type of agreement protects separate property in the event that the couple decides to get a divorce later on. However, not all couples chose to sign a prenuptial agreement, and while these agreements are often recommended, there are other ways that individuals can protect their separate assets.
Many married couples separate with intentions to file for divorce, and it might be important for them to come to an agreement for how they plan to divide their assets. The attorneys for each party will write out the agreement for the divorcing spouses to sign after the negotiations are complete. It is a contract between the parties that the court could enforce in the same way as a court order.
When people divorce in Pennsylvania, a part of the divorce settlement will include a division of property acquired during the marriage. Most couples jointly own a home, while some own several pieces of real estate. If a home was jointly purchased during the marriage, the spouses are considered to be "tenants in the entirety" of the property sharing equal rights in it.
It likely hasn't escaped many people's attention in Bucks County that a ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in Pennsylvania earlier this spring. And with the governor refusing to appeal the ruling, gender-neutral marriage is now the law of the land.
Though many people in Philadelphia recognize that creating a custody arrangement between divorcing parents may be an extremely difficult part of separating, so is property division. It is how a marital estate is divided that could have a strong impact on either spouse's financial future.
Very few people in Philadelphia get married knowing that they will divorce. Unfortunately, all the best intentions and love at the beginning of a marriage won't save some relationships. And that's fine, not all marriages are meant to work out, but it is important that when they don't, both spouses are protected. Especially with those couples who have a substantial marital estate, protecting assets and ensuring that both spouses get a fair divorce settlement is important.