Ending a marriage is costly, both emotionally and financially. Most people expect this, but many may not fully realize just how costly it is. From a financial standpoint, it is possible to lessen the blow if one prepares for divorce long before it enters the picture. Pennsylvania residents can do this by having marital contracts created either before or after they say their I do’s.

A woman recently shared her story about the monetary losses she experienced because of her divorce. After 15 years of marriage, she and her husband decided to call it quits. When she entered the marriage, she brought with her a home that she bought herself. She assumed that it would be granted her in the divorce; however, at some point, she refinanced the mortgage and included her husband’s name on the loan. When all was said and done, her husband was allowed to keep the home, which caused her to walk away without the $250,000 in equity she would have received had she sold the house and split the proceeds.

On top of the equity loss, she had legal fees that cost her about $200,000. In order to pay those legal fees, she had to take money out of her retirement savings. Removing funds from her retirement account means that account will experience less growth as time goes by. She believes doing this cost her roughly $1 million — which is about how much that money would have grown in 20 years.

This individual could have saved herself a lot in the end had she and her husband signed a pre or postnuptial agreement that stated property brought into the marriage would be treated as separate property in the event of divorce. Most people do not feel that they need marital contracts. That may be true for some, but for anyone who has assets that they want to protect just in case their marriages do not work out as they hope, it is better to have such a contract than not. Pennsylvania residents who are interested in pre or postnuptial agreements can turn to a family law attorney for assistance creating contracts that fit their needs. Those who are going through divorce without such contracts in place can also turn to an experienced attorney for help achieving fair and balanced divorce settlements.