More and more people are waiting to get married or are getting remarried and bringing significant assets with them to the marriage. Many people ask whether it is possible to protect their assets and still get married? The answer is yes. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements can help protect your assets and still allow you to enjoy your marriage without worrying about what will happen to your wealth in case of divorce or death.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by both people prior to the marriage that can protect assets and dictate the terms of many other things before you are wed. If you are bringing significant assets such as real estate, businesses, or wealth a prenuptial agreement can state that you retain your assets if you and your future spouse get divorced. It can also dictate other terms such as spousal support and where certain items of personal property will go if the marriage does not last. Under Virginia law, the agreement must be signed voluntarily and is not not be unconscionable, which means that there must have been fair and reasonable disclosure of property and financial obligations before the signing of the contract.
Another option for couples that would like to protect their individual assets is a postnuptial agreement. This type of agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is signed after the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can come in handy if the couple wishes to retain their property or split what they have differently than what the state laws typically dictate. A postnuptial agreement solidifies in writing the agreement between the spouses, which can significantly help during a divorce and avoid the he-said, she-said of divorce arguments.
Additional Benefits of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
In addition to clearly defining who will retain what assets each spouse will retain in the situation of divorce prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have other benefits for spouses. Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can also help in estate planning and help resolve any issues that may arise when distributing your estate. It can also simplify the estate distribution process if specific assets and personal property items are already decided upon in the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
These agreements can also protect your children if you are remarrying and bringing your children from a prior marriage into a new family. These agreements can specifically delineate what part of the estate and assets will go to your children, protecting their future inheritance in mixed families. The same can be said for businesses, ensuring that your business will not need to be liquidated or part of it given to your former spouse in the division of assets during a divorce.
Call To Learn More
If you wish to learn more about how prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help protect your assets for marriage, our office is here to help. Call or contact us today in Fairfax at Duff & Kronfeld to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your legal needs.