Few people want to think about the possibility of divorce and the need for prenuptial agreements while planning a wedding. Students may be even less likely to think a prenup is needed since they may have few assets. However, there are several reasons students in Virginia might want to consider one.
Many students carry significant amounts of debt. This may be particularly true if they are attending law or medical school. A prenup can protect the spouse from taking on that debt, but it can also protect a student’s future earnings.
Creating a prenuptial agreement gives people the opportunity to talk openly about their finances and their own attitudes about money. Some people, particularly younger people, may not be fully aware of all the assets they own, and the disclosure required for a prenup can help them better understand their own financial situation.
A prenup should not be used as a substitute for an estate plan, but it can also address the distribution of assets after a person’s death. Some younger people might want assets to go to their parents instead of to their spouse.
One thing students may want to consider is whether they might want to start a business and how that business might be divided in case of divorce. For the student who is not involved in the company, it may be worth taking into account the value of caring for children or other tasks that allow the business owner to more fully focus on the company’s growth. A prenup might also address spousal support although it should not include child support or child custody arrangements. An improperly prepared prenup could be vulnerable to challenges in court. For example, if one spouse was pressured into signing the agreement or did not get adequate legal counsel, the document might be declared invalid in a divorce.