While thinking about divorce can be unsavory, couples in Virginia who are getting married might want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can help keep assets separate and specify what will happen to shared property if a split ever occurs. Another consideration is to get large assets valued. This will ease the property division process.
There are several other steps people can take to protect their finances as well. Although a couple may share a joint account, they should also have individual accounts. People should keep records from these as well as from retirement, brokerage and other types of accounts.
Spouses should also keep track of any inheritances from wills or trusts. If a person receives an inheritance and does not want it to be considered marital property, it should be placed in an individual account. In addition, the beneficiary should avoid spending marital funds on the inheritance. For example, if the inheritance is a home that needs renovation, it should be paid from the owner's individual account. Spouses may also want to discuss these issues with an attorney so that they understand the laws in a particular jurisdiction.
While taking these steps will make the process of property division less difficult, spouses may still want to negotiate an agreement with their attorneys. This can be less costly than going to court in terms of time and money. Furthermore, civil negotiation gives both people more control over the outcome. During the process, it's important to be careful about protecting financial interests. Many exes suffer a drop in a standard of living after divorce.