When people in Pennsylvania hear the term, “prenuptial agreement,” they may have a lot of preconceived ideas. In many cases, public perception of prenups is shaped by news coverage of celebrity divorces and the associated legal battles. However, this document can often be a responsible choice for many types of couples. A lot of people steer clear of prenups because they fear that these agreements equal them beginning to plan for divorce before the wedding has even happened. However, prenups can also be mutual documents that respect each other and provide common-sense protections.

While many people think prenups are only for the super-rich, celebrities or people with significant family wealth, they can be useful for individuals of varying financial means. This document can be used to decide on future spousal support payments, the division of real estate or even how debts should be apportioned. Even more, they’re not only for planning for a future divorce. Prenups can include provisions that set up a framework for estate planning. This can be particularly important when both parties are entering the marriage with existing children.

Prenuptial agreements aren’t a means of pressuring a person with few or no assets to agree to the will of the wealthier individual. In many cases, prenups can be thrown out by a judge if one party did not have his or her own lawyer. In addition, unfair or unconscionable provisions will not be accepted as legally binding. For example, parents can’t sign away their children’s right to child support.

If people are considering how a prenuptial agreement could affect their wedding plans, they can speak with a family law attorney. A lawyer can help a spouse-to-be to draft a prenup that addresses key issues and also deals with his or her partner’s attorney in finalizing an agreement that meets both parties’ needs.