The attorneys of Jerner & Palmer, P.C. have more than 15 years’ experience representing individuals who wish to enter into contractual agreements to clarify certain property rights with their intended spouse prior to getting married.
Such agreements, called pre-nuptial agreements or “pre-nups” often include provisions regarding the property that each spouse is bringing into the marriage and the property that each will take should the marriage end through death or divorce.
Pre-nups are not just for the rich and famous. Such agreements can be beneficial for all kinds of families, including families where one or both of the engaged individuals have children from prior marriages, where the couple has lived together and shared assets for a substantial length of time prior to their marriage and when there is a significant difference in the wealth of the soon-to-be spouses.
The attorneys of Jerner & Palmer, P.C. can provide our engaged clients counsel and advice regarding prenuptial agreements and have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting such agreements.
Prenuptial agreements can be especially important for same-sex couples who have decided to marry. Because marriage equality was not achieved in until 2013 in New Jersey and 2014 in Pennsylvania, many same-sex couples have been in committed, financially interdependent, relationships for many years before getting married. Some couples may have even entered into a civil union or domestic partnership. A prenuptial agreement can clarify the parties’ intentions regarding how the length of the relationship should impact any claim for support and how assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce. Clarifying these issues prior to marriage can provide protection to both parties to the marriage.
For unmarried individuals, cohabitation agreements and real estate contracts are tools that unmarried individuals can use to set forth their intentions when they purchase real estate together or live together. For example, cohabitation agreements can protect individuals who contribute funds to a household while residing in a property that is held in the name of another individual. Real estate contracts can clarify how a jointly owned property should be divided in the future based on individual contributions to the property and other considerations. Jerner & Palmer, P.C. attorneys have over 20 years’ experience in drafting and negotiating these contracts.