Some Pennsylvania couples who are getting married might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. Divorce may be far from their mind, but they can think of it as a safety precaution. Married couples can create a postnuptial agreement. Both documents lay out plans for how property will be divided in a divorce, and the first one can also identify assets and debts the couple bring into the marriage that they want to keep separate.
Before getting married, people might want to have some assets appraised. For example, a business can be difficult to get a value for, so having this baseline could be helpful later. Another step people can take to protect themselves financially in case of divorce is setting up separate bank accounts. Even if the couple primarily uses a joint account, a separate bank account can be used to manage separate assets.
If a person receives an inheritance, it should go into the separate account unless the person wants it to be considered marital property. Any money spent on an asset that is supposed to be separate, such as a house, should also come from a person’s individual account. People should also keep good financial records. This includes copies of a will or trust if there is an inheritance.
Although these precautions may help a divorce move along more rapidly and with fewer complications, a couple might still be able to negotiate a property division settlement agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys even if they have not taken these steps. If this proves to be difficult, mediation might be an advisable alternative to litigation.