Pennsylvania couples who plan to get married in the upcoming year have many things to consider. Since more couples are waiting to marry until they have established their careers and built independent financial security, one factor to address is how to protect their accomplishments against the possibility of divorce. For many generations, one aspect of family law that offers that protection is the prenuptial agreement.

Courts generally recognize the terms of a prenuptial agreement if they are fair and conform to state and federal laws. However, it is important for both parties to take every reasonable step to ensure the validity of the document. For example, the contract must be written, carefully read and reviewed by both parties, and signed within an appropriate time before the wedding day. Courts are likely to sustain a prenuptial agreement challenge if one spouse did not seem to have adequate time to consider the terms.

A prenuptial agreement requires full disclosure of both parties, so if one party withholds information, provides false information or fails to reveal the complete details related to his or her financial status, part or all of the contract may be invalid. Additionally, a prenup may not include any provisions related to child support for future children or any clauses that violate the law or public policy. In fact, a court may strike down part or all of an agreement that contains terms that are seriously unfair to one spouse.

One way to improve the chances that a family law court will not invalidate a prenuptial agreement is for both parties to seek the counsel of separate attorneys. An attorney can review the terms of the agreement to ensure they comply with Pennsylvania laws. An individual about to marry can also be more certain that the prenuptial agreement meets his or her goals and is a fair and valid contract with which to begin a marriage.