Couples in Virginia might be more likely to have a prenuptial agreement than in the past. A survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers found that almost two-thirds of attorneys reported a rise in prenuptial agreements. There are several reason that people might consider getting one.
The traditional reason for people having a prenup, coming from a wealthy family, still holds true. People who have a business might also want one. However, those who do not yet have a business but who plan to may want to consider getting a prenup as well. Even if the company has little value, that can change.
A prenup can establish rules around alimony, but it cannot address child support. A prenup is often a good idea in a second marriage if there are children from the first marriage because it can protect assets for those children. Prenups can add protection for a spouse in case the other spouse dies. For example, if the deceased spouse is from a wealthy family, assets may pass to the children instead of the spouse. A prenup can also help ensure that the surviving spouse is not dependent on the children. Finally, a prenup can simplify a divorce. Although people generally do not go into a marriage anticipating divorce, a prenup can be an insurance policy against a long, costly process.
If the couple decides to divorce and they do not have a prenup, they might still pursue an uncontested divorce. This might involve spending less money and time on the process and negotiating an agreement for asset division and child custody. If this is not possible, the couple may have to go to court. A judge will decide how their property should be divided and will make a custody schedule that is in the best interests of the child.