Prenuptial agreements have many important benefits for couples entering a marriage. There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings often associated with prenuptial agreements but they are an excellent family law legal tool to help couples entering a marriage establish property rights for their marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can protect the assets of a wealthy soon-to-be spouse but they have many other uses as well. Beneficial uses for prenuptial agreements include protecting one party from the debts of the other; determining how property will be passed upon death; clarifying financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage; and avoiding long and costly disputes if the divorcing couple decides to divorce at some point because they will not need to take time or money to fight about their property division settlement.
It is important to keep in mind that, absent a prenuptial agreement, state property division laws will determine how property is divided between the couple if they divorce. Though Virginia follows equitable property division rules which will focus on a fair and equitable property division settlement, it may not be how the couple would like property to be divided. Marital property, which includes assets and property acquired during marriage, will be divided making how property is categorized an important determination during divorce.
A prenuptial agreement offers a variety of benefits to couples entering a marriage that they should at least be aware of. Understanding the benefits of a prenuptial agreement can help couples decide if a prenuptial agreement is the best option for them. It can also then help them ensure their agreement meets all the legal requirements to be a valid prenuptial agreement in their state that provides the protections they are seeking.