Marital contracts entered into both before and during marriage are becoming increasingly common in Pennsylvania and everywhere else across the country.

Of course, popularity was about the last thing associated with such agreements in past decades, when a stigma regarding them unquestionably attached in the minds of many people. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial contract spelling out in detail how certain things would unfold in the event of a failed marriage struck many people as more than a bit unseemly.

That is far from true these days, as more couples are appreciating these agreements for what they simply are, and for what they can do in eminently effective fashion. Above all else, they are planning devices that can help couples openly discuss and define before or during the early years of marriage what is most important to them. A prenup or postnup (to use their short forms) can clarify uncertainties and promote predictability in outcomes regarding matters deemed important to spouses.

Such agreements come with the caveat, of course, that they must be enforceable in a court of law. Certain factors can certainly militate against that, which is why the timely and close involvement of a proven family law attorney experienced in drafting such contracts is of critical importance in virtually all instances.

Provisions that are flatly so unreasonable that they raise questions concerning public policy will raise the eyebrows of a judge. So, too, will evidence that a party’s signature was induced by coercion, duress or fraud.

As a recent article on marital contracts notes, soliciting assistance from “the best divorce lawyer you can find” is the preferable course of action for any person wishing to challenge a marital contract on grounds of unenforceability.

Source: Huffington Post, “When a prenup gets thrown out,” Stann Givens, July 1, 2014