Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

How prenuptial agreements may protect family wealth

When Virginia children come from wealthy families, they might feel pressured by their parents to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Although parents often do this simply because they are concerned about preserving the family wealth, children might be resistant and feel this is a reflection on their parents' feelings about their future spouse.

One way parents can avoid this is by raising the issue of a prenup long before there is a potential spouse involved. This helps keeps the focus on the family legacy. Parents can begin talking to their children about prenups when they are teenagers or young adults. They may find it helpful to explain that a prenup can protect the family wealth for their own children.

A discussion about prenups when children are younger also allows parents to start introducing them to the full extent of the family wealth. Financial disclosure is an important step in the process of creating a prenuptial agreement, but if the issue of the prenup is only raised before a child gets married, it could also be the first time the child begins to gain an understanding of the family wealth.

There are other reasons a couple may want to sign a prenuptial agreement. One person might own a business. If one person is bringing a great deal of debt into the marriage, a prenup could help protect the other spouse. Another positive effect of signing a prenup can be the conversation it opens about attitudes toward money and spending. Because different ideas about finances are so often the cause of conflict in a marriage, this conversation can actually strengthen a marriage. It is important that both parties have adequate legal counsel before signing the agreement.

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