When people in Virginia think about prenuptial agreements, they may think that such agreements are used only by celebrities, millionaires and people who have inherited a significant amount of family wealth. However, many people can find these agreements useful and helpful, even when they don’t have major financial resources. A prenuptial agreement is, at its simplest, a contract made between two people before they get married that deals with the property they have at the time of the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement will include a complete list of each person’s existing assets and how they should be dealt with in the case of death or divorce. While the utility of a prenup may be clear when someone with a massive bank account decides to marry, these agreements can also be useful for many others. For example, couples who have children from previous relationships may want to use a prenup to specify how certain property should be dealt with upon their death.
In addition, business owners can find prenuptial agreements useful. Whether the business is just starting out or is well-established, a prenup can clarify the business’ ownership over time. This is particularly important when outside parties are involved as partners in the business; it is important for those co-owners that the enterprise not become a marital asset. While prenuptial agreements are often seen as a way to protect one spouse at the expense of another, a good prenup protects both parties.
A valid prenuptial agreement should recognize the interests of both parties and deal with assets owned by the spouses-to-be before their marriage. In order to ensure that the contract will be upheld in the event of a divorce, each partner may wish to engage a family law attorney to review the prenup and represent their interests in reaching a final agreement.