Virginia is a state that recognizes postnuptial agreements. If you have married someone without a prenup, then you may decide you want to write a postnup to protect both of your assets and interests in case you were to divorce in the future. No one goes into marriage thinking they will divorce, but you never know for certain what will happen.
Do you or your spouse have children from another marriage?
If you have children from a previous marriage, you should include stipulations in a postnup to ensure that you will keep assets to cover their inheritance. Without a postnup, a court may give more money and assets to your ex-spouse when you divorce.
Are you and your spouse wealthy?
Asset division is not just a factor that the wealthy must consider in a postnup, but it does become more critical the more money and assets you have. Don’t just think about the assets you currently have but any inheritance you may receive or investments you may make. Inheritances are usually not marital property, but you should still include protections for your inheritance in the postnup.
Do you or your spouse own a business?
Businesses are subject to division between the two spouses in a divorce. You will need to clearly state in the postnup that you will retain full ownership over your business. If you don’t have a postnup, then a court may agree that your spouse should collect a percentage of the business’ earnings after the divorce even when they weren’t involved in its operations. If the spouse worked for the business or helped in any way, a court is more likely to rule that they have partial ownership of it after a divorce.
Do you want a postnup?
Even if you didn’t say yes to the previous questions, you should write a postnup if you want one. It will give you peace of mind. Postnuptial agreements can even include information about how often an in-law can visit and who is in charge of what chores. Many people like having these agreements in a legally enforceable contract to protect themselves. You may have a smoother marriage when you both know that a contract is legally enforcing your conduct.
Postnuptial agreements are good to have if you didn’t make a prenup before marriage. Such a contract can make a potential divorce go smoother and even protect the personal agreements you have with your spouse on how your marriage works.