Family Law Agreements

If you’re hoping to avoid the judicial divorce process in Pennsylvania, with its stress and expense, you might wish to negotiate one or more family law agreements. Remarkably, over 90% of family law disputes are resolved by agreement, whether through traditional negotiation or alternative methods like mediation and arbitration. Some say that as few as 5% of divorce cases go to a trial to be decided by a judge.

Stressful divorce conflicts can be avoided by entering into a premarital agreement prior to the marriage, or by negotiating a divorce settlement when a marital separation occurs. It is not necessary to wait until papers have been filed in court. Even the most complex cases can be settled privately and discreetly through family law agreements.

It is also important to anticipate the tax consequences of a family law agreement, which may not be apparent to lawyers who do not concentrate in family law cases. The authoritative treatise Frumkes & Vertz on Divorce Taxation contains contract clauses that fix common and unusual tax issues in divorce settlements and prenuptial agreements.

Pennsylvania honors most prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, including marital settlements, provided that there is “full and fair disclosure.” In a 1990 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that full and fair disclosure is the most important requirement for making and enforcing family law agreements. Full and fair disclosure requires both sides of a family law agreement to provide a complete, accurate disclosure of assets and income. If the disclosure is incomplete or erroneous, there may be grounds for challenging a family law agreement.

If you need a premarital agreement or divorce settlement agreement that will protect your rights and withstand the test of time, call Brian C. Vertz at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz. Brian has been crafting effective premarital agreements and negotiating favorable divorce settlements for decades. Pennsylvania family law agreements are his forte. Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak with Brian Vertz or use the online contact form.

“The Divorce Process,” by Rome Neal, CBS News
“Divorcing Women: Is it Best to Litigate or Settle?” by Jeff Landers, Forbes Magazine

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