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Good reasons to have a prenuptial agreement

Virginia residents may assume that prenuptial agreements are only necessary for the rich and famous. However, they can be beneficial for almost anyone who is about to get married. For instance, if one helps to pay a spouse's student loans, a prenuptial agreement could determine if repayment will be required following divorce.

It is worth noting that the debt itself generally stays in the name of the person who accrues it. Therefore, an individual is generally not required to pay some or all of that debt if a marriage ends. If debt is accrued during a marriage, however, it could be split following a divorce. Of course, debt-related issues could be addressed by a prenuptial agreement.

There are also some unconventional matters that may be settled in a prenup. For example, couples who have pets together may want to determine how their furry friends will be cared for in the event that the marriage ends. It may be possible that one person will retain custody or that the couple's child will be the pet's primary caretaker. However, individuals should note that courts likely won't spend much time on any disputes related to pet custody even if an agreement is in place.

The use of prenuptial agreements can prevent potentially emotional and time-consuming divorce disputes from occurring. Ideally, an agreement will be created and reviewed by an attorney weeks or months before the wedding. This generally makes it more likely that the agreement is valid. If a couple has children, they may also create a parenting plan separate from any other agreement reached. However, it would likely need approval from a judge before going into effect.

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