With a prenuptial agreement, spouses can determine rules for property division if a marriage ever goes south. While some Virginia couples might feel that a prenup indicates that they are preparing to get a divorce, this is not necessarily the case. A prenup simply protects people in the event of separation or the death of a spouse.
For example, a couple might want to specify in a prenup that certain assets remain the property of one spouse and not the other. People who run their own businesses, whether or not they are family businesses, may also want a prenup. Without one, the other spouse might be able to make a claim on the business even if they were not a co-owner and did not work for the company.
One or both people might also have significant debt, and a prenup can protect against the other spouse from having to assume part of that debt in the event of a divorce. In addition, a prenup can protect a spouse if there are other complex assets that they would like to keep separate.
It is important that a prenuptial agreement be prepared correctly. If one person does not receive sufficient legal counsel or appears to have been coerced into signing the agreement, the prenup might be considered invalid. For this reason, the prenup should not be put together at the last minute prior to the wedding. A prenup should focus only on property and not deal with other issues such as child custody.