When a Virginia couple is preparing to walk down the aisle, it is a time of great excitement and a lot of preparation. As a recently engaged person, it can be tempting to only think about planning for the day of the wedding, but you would be wise to think beyond that. Have you given thought to what could happen if your marriage ends in divorce one day?
Thinking about the possibility of divorce before you even marry probably does not seem romantic or necessary. However, there is significant benefit for couples of all income levels in drafting a strong and enforceable prenuptial agreement. These contracts can provide you with a certain amount of protection, but it is beneficial to ensure there are no mistakes that could cause problems in the future.
Reasons for an invalid prenuptial agreement
When a prenuptial agreement has mistakes, it can actually lead to a court deciding that part or all of the agreement is invalid. This can expose you to financial risks and other issues, but you can take certain steps now to ensure that your prenup is strong, enforceable and suits your objectives. Common problems with prenuptial agreements include:
- The agreement has information that is not true or is intentionally misleading.
- Both parties did not read and sign the agreement before the wedding took place.
- Your prenuptial agreement is not in writing or in an acceptable format.
- One party claims he or she felt pressure to agree to the terms and sign the agreement.
- The agreement has invalid terms, such as terms that deal with child support or custody.
- One party did not have time to thoroughly read and review the contract.
During a divorce, a prenup can come under intense scrutiny. When it is enforceable and fair, it can reduce the need to fight over property division, thus saving both parties time and money in a divorce.
Is it right for you?
It is impossible to predict the future, but a prenuptial agreement can allow you to have a measure of control in case your marriage ends at some point. When you have legal protections in place, you can proceed with your wedding and look to the future with confidence. If drafting a prenuptial agreement is the right choice for your situation, you may want to seek help in order to reduce the chance of a problem down the road.