Key facts about marriage settlement agreements

People do not usually go into marriages expecting them to end. However, many people now view a marriage settlement agreement as a helpful precaution.

A marriage settlement agreement cannot only help a party to protect certain assets, but it can also aid in streamlining the divorce process. There are a few key facts to understand about marriage settlement agreements.


Most people are familiar with the prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a marriage settlement agreement that parties put into place before the marriage. Such agreements usually include the intended division of assets upon the dissolution of the marriage. It may also include special stipulations that restrict or enact certain aspects of the agreement in the case of certain situations. As long as the prenuptial agreement is valid in accordance with the law, the prenuptial is a binding agreement upon creation.


A postnuptial agreement is a marriage settlement agreement that serves the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement. However, parties enact it after they become married. These types of agreements continue to gain popularity among married couples. It is important to note that before these agreements become legally binding, they must receive court approval.


There are a few components that both prenuptials and postnuptials must contain. First and foremost, they must comply with Pennsylvania's marital laws, as well as federal laws. It is important to understand the law, because it does come with certain restrictions. For example, across all states, courts do not uphold certain stipulations within a marriage settlement agreement pertaining to child support or custody. In addition, the agreement must be in writing, and both parties must agree to it and sign it.

Knowing the differences and requirements between these marriage settlement agreements can aid you in making the best choice for you. Take some time to review your options fully to make the best decision for your situation.

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