Pittsburgh Family Law Services, P.C. Blog

Part II: Who needs a prenup and why? Those who already have children.

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Blended families are more common than ever. It’s extremely common that one person entering a marriage has children from a prior relationship. Although a wedding with children from a prior relationship is an exciting time, many parents have a lot of anxiety around how a future divorce would impact their children.  Parents want to provide for their children and ensure their needs are met, and a divorce without proper advance planning makes doing so far more challenging.  

By clearly defining your separate property, a prenuptial agreement allows you to keep more of your assets in order to provide for your children. This is especially important if you’re the higher-earning spouse.  Without an agreement in place, even assets titled in your sole name are subject to distribution if they increase in value during the marriage.  Depending on the assets you have, this can be a substantial amount.  If you’re required to divide half of an asset, such as a 401(k), those are funds suddenly unavailable to you (and by extension, to your children).  This doesn’t only impact your immediate financial circumstances but also your long-term estate plan.  Many parents want to provide for their children as much as they can in the event of their death, so certainty about what will remain your separate property provides much relief.  While nothing is guaranteed, and assets don’t always increase the way you anticipate, a prenuptial agreement makes it so a divorce doesn’t harm you financially.  

A prenuptial agreement doesn’t only protect the higher-earning spouse though.  One of the greatest protections is agreeing upon terms of spousal support and alimony.  These agreements can result in you receiving more in support than you ordinarily would have received under Pennsylvania law.  Even in the most amicable of situations, a divorce requires a large financial investment and guaranteed spousal support goes a long way toward supporting your children.  

If you’re about to get married and you have children from a prior relationship, a prenuptial agreement by extension protects them as well.  By clearly defining marital and separate property and clearly defining terms for spousal support and alimony, you ensure that your children will not be financially harmed in the event of a subsequent divorce.  

If you’re planning a wedding and have children from a prior relationship, contact one of our attorneys today for a comprehensive strategy session about a prenuptial agreement.