Simeone v. Simeone

525 Pa. 392, 581 A.2d 162 (1990)

 

RULE:

Contracting parties are normally bound by their agreements, without regard to whether the terms thereof were read and fully understood and irrespective of whether the agreements embodied reasonable or good bargains.

FACTS:

On the eve of the parties' wedding, appellee's attorney presented appellant with a prenuptial agreement to be signed. Appellant, without the benefit of counsel, signed the agreement. Appellee's attorney had not advised appellant regarding any legal rights that the agreement surrendered. Appellant challenged the order of the Superior Court affirming the order of the lower court, which dismissed her exceptions to a master's report upholding the validity of a prenuptial agreement and denied her claim for alimony pendente lite against appellee. She claimed the agreement was unreasonable and that she was not informed of the nature of alimony pendente lite when she relinquished it.

ISSUE:

Was the prenuptial agreement between the parties valid?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court affirmed, ruling the agreement was valid and enforceable and that appellant could not receive alimony pendente lite. The court discarded an earlier approach that permitted evaluating the reasonableness of prenuptial agreements and held that such agreements should be interpreted using the same criteria as applied to other contracts. Absent fraud, misrepresentation, or duress, the spouses were bound to their agreement. It rejected appellant's suggestion that the agreement should be voided because she had not consulted with an attorney and ruled that the reasonableness of the agreement was not a proper subject for judicial review.

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