Should I get a prenup?

A prenup agreement to be signed lies on a wooden surface

While discussing prenups may not be the most romantic aspect of wedding planning, they serve as practical tools for navigating the uncertainty of the future. In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of prenuptial agreements and help you determine if they’re the right fit for your situation.

What Is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that couples create before getting married. It outlines how property, assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled in the event of divorce or death. Prenups provide clarity and protection for both parties, allowing them to address financial concerns and safeguard their interests.

Do I Need a Prenup?

Whether you should get a prenuptial agreement depends on your individual circumstances, values, and priorities. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether a prenup is right for you:

 

Individuals with Significant Assets:

If one or both partners have significant assets, including real estate, investments, businesses, or inheritance, a prenuptial agreement can help protect those assets in the event of divorce. This can also protect the other party from substantial debt that could be transferred to them after their partner’s death.

 

Entrepreneurs and Business Owners:

Business owners may want to safeguard their business interests and assets from being divided during a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can establish clear guidelines for how business assets will be handled in the event of marriage dissolution.

 

Individuals with High Income:

High-earning individuals may want to protect their income and assets accumulated before marriage or earned during the marriage. A prenup can help establish terms for asset division and spousal support in the event of divorce.

 

Individuals with Children from Previous Relationships:

If one or both partners have children from previous relationships, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that inheritance rights and financial provisions for those children are protected.

Ultimately, the decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement depends on the individual circumstances, values, and priorities of the couple. It’s important for both partners to discuss their concerns, goals, and expectations openly and honestly before deciding whether a prenup is right for them. Seeking legal advice and guidance from a family law attorney can also help ensure that the prenuptial agreement reflects the best interests of both parties.

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Donita King

Ms. King is a member of the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. State Bars. She also serves as a University of Richmond School of Law Adjunct Professor of Mediation. She previously served on the Virginia Bar Association Joint ADR Council (2015 Chair), and served for several years on the Governor of Virginia’s Interagency Dispute Resolution Council. Ms. King currently serves as a board member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by appointment of the Virginia Supreme Court and has been active with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Women in Business as well. Se habla espanol.

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