Divorcing couples in Virginia are subject to the laws of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution in Virginia is governed by a number of factors set forth in in Virginia Code Section 20-107.3, and generally provides that assets that are acquired during the marriage are presumptively marital property and will be divided equitably according to the factors. In Virginia, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. If a couple does not want to be governed by Virginia’s laws regarding equitable distribution, they have the option, before marriage, to enter into an agreement called a premarital or prenuptial agreement that will govern the distribution of the parties’ assets in the event of divorce. Many couples who have acquired significant assets prior to marriage and have a significantly net worth, are more likely to consider the use of a prenuptial agreement. However, more and more young couples are considering prenuptial agreements to alleviate the complexity of asset distribution.
The new prenup
In the past, ironing out the details of a prenup could create a contentious situation and prenuptials were often insisted upon by the wealthier spouse as a condition to marriage. Today, young couples are using their prenups in an agreeable manner. These young couples aim to not only protect assets and maintain cordiality, but to address social and economic issues.
Analysts believe this is the result of the current generation’s experiences with divorced parents — sometimes parents with multiple divorces. Today’s brides and grooms aim to avoid the conflicts they observed in their parents. They tend to also be more focused on equality- in parenting, in employment, in education. They are also interested in addressing issues that older generations did not need to address, such as social media rights, embryonic storage, division of financial contributions and responsibilities during the marriage, and other unique issues.
Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. If you are interested in learning more about whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by calling (703) 883-8035 or visiting us at www.maddoxandgerock.com.