The decision to marry carries with it the implicit decision to work together. For the average Pennsylvania couple, this decision to work together needs to begin in the initial planning stages rather than after the couple has said "I do." One of the first steps is often an open, honest discussion regarding finances, spending and expectations. When this occurs, the likelihood of divorce may decrease.
In some cases, one of the individuals enters the marriage with considerably more assets than the other. This situation can create an imbalance of power that can have a detrimental effect upon the marriage. One way to address this imbalance is through a prenuptial agreement.
Many individuals look at a prenuptial agreement as planning for divorce. However, it can also be used as a means for recognizing that while one party may bring financial assets into the marriage, the other party also makes valuable contributions to the family. Additionally, the prenuptial agreement can be useful in establishing boundaries for the couple and sharing in decisions that affect the family. The prenuptial agreement opens the door to the important discussions that need to take place prior to them becoming an issue.
When money is involved, parents and extended family members can become protective of assets. However, as the new Pennsylvania couple embarks on their life together, they must find a way to make decisions and work together. In many instances, a prenuptial agreement is a good beginning. Each individual will want to work with experienced legal counsel in structuring an appropriate agreement.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Prenuptial Agreements: Beyond the Necessary Evil", Keith Michaelson, Don Opatrny and Mark Haranzo, Feb. 7, 2018