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Why couples might need a prenuptial agreement

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2018 | Divorce

The conversation about getting a prenuptial agreement can be a difficult one, but it can also be an important document for protecting people financially. A prenup may be particularly important for people in Virginia who are going into a second marriage. If one person is bringing significant assets into the marriage, that person might want a prenuptial agreement to ensure those assets are protected in case of divorce. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the lower-earning spouse may want to make sure there will be adequate alimony payments.

Alimony payments may also be important for a spouse who leaves the workforce to stay home and care for children. While there is usually child support in this situation, it generally ends when the child is no longer a minor. However, the parent who is primarily responsible for the child may struggle to reenter the workforce.

If one person owns a business, a prenup can ensure that the business stays that person’s property. Without one, after a divorce, a person could be forced to co-own the business with the ex-spouse or might even lose the business altogether. Debt is another reason couples may want a prenup. It can protect each person from the other’s debts. Finally, some couples may use a prenup to specify who gets the pets in the event of a divorce.

If a couple has a prenuptial agreement but gets a divorce, there are still grounds upon which the prenup can be challenged. For example, if one person was rushed into the agreement and did not get sufficient legal counsel, the prenup might be declared invalid. This could also be the case if elements of the prenup are prepared incorrectly or if issues outside its scope, such as child custody, are included. If this occurs, a judge may make the decisions about property division.