Because asset division can often cause the most contention when going through a divorce, you may wonder whether you could streamline the process. Luckily, you can take steps before you even get married to determine how to split your marital property and how to handle other life aspects in the event of divorce. Creating a prenuptial agreement could help you and your future spouse lay the groundwork for a quicker -- though not necessarily inevitable -- divorce.
True, some people may find the idea of a prenup tacky, but in reality, this legal document can help you avoid many unnecessary conflicts and the distressing situation of trying to make important decisions under emotional duress. Therefore, you may wish to consider what you could potentially include in your agreement.
Separate vs. marital property
The legal definition of marital property has a relatively straightforward meaning, in that any property purchased after the marriage took place counts as marital property. However, you and your spouse may wish to create a more specific definition in your prenup. You can detail who should keep items gifted to one another, what should happen to specific assets and under which circumstances could a marital asset remain the sole property of one individual.
A prenuptial agreement can also have benefits for protecting assets. If you gain an inheritance at some point during your marriage, you may wish to detail in your agreement that your inheritance remains your sole property. Though this is the case under typical state law, some risk does exist that you could lose a portion of your inheritance if you used any of it for the good of your family. By addressing it in your prenup, you can ensure your ownership of the inheritance.
A big financial issue that many people often overlook when thinking of property division and divorce relates to debt. Even after a divorce takes place, creditors could hold you liable for your spouse's debt. You can use the details of your prenup to limit your liability and state that debts accumulated by each party remain the sole responsibility of the individual.
Creating a prenup
You could also include many other topics in your prenuptial agreement. The details of the document will depend on the views of you and your future spouse, but utilizing this tool could have many benefits for your marriage and in the event of a divorce. Gaining information from local Virginia legal resources could help you effectively create your prenup.