Prenuptial agreements used to be reserved for the very wealthy, and they often evoked feelings of mistrust and betrayal. Those days have passed. Recent generations have come to terms with the fluidity of marriage, and many have seen first-hand how divorce can result in financial and emotional struggle.
Drafting a prenuptial agreement is now a practical and reasonable step to take before getting married. For some Virginia couples, it may be even more critical to include the protection of a prenuptial agreement among those pre-wedding plans.
Why might I need a prenup?
There is no denying that broaching the subject of drafting a pre-wedding contract may be uncomfortable. However, the protection you may both receive is often worth the effort it may take to overcome those emotional reactions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- This is not your first marriage, and you want to protect your assets for your children.
- You already own a business that you want to keep separate from your joint property.
- Your soon-to-be spouse has significant debt or has spending habits that may jeopardize your wealth and security.
- You earn substantially more than your intended, and you want to protect your future finances by settling the details of alimony in the event of a divorce.
- You and your intended have decided that one of you will stop working to raise children, and you want to ensure that partner has financial protection in case of divorce.
- You are entering the marriage with more assets than your partner, and you want your assets to remain separate if you ever go through property division.
- You expect to share pets, which can result in a devastating battle during a divorce unless you have prepared a plan.
At the height of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget you are forming a business partnership as well as bonding emotionally. If you are still uneasy about asking for a prenuptial agreement, it may comfort you to know that many couples who draft such contracts find they open the doors to frank conversations that actually strengthen their relationships.
Of course, for your own protection, it is important that you and your intended each have legal counsel who can guide you through the process and ensure you are not signing an agreement that violates your rights.