The wedding season is upon us! Lovebirds Beyonce and Jay-Z, Brad and Angelina, Nicole and Keith, Kim and Kanye, and numerous other celebrity couples all have at least one thing in common: a Premarital Agreement. However, Premarital Agreements are not just for the high-profile among us. Every couple can benefit from considering a Premarital Agreement.
Virginia adopted the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act in 1985 which governs these agreements more popularly known as “prenups.” A prenup protects the premarital assets of the parties and allows couples to plan for the division of assets in the case of death or divorce, prior to separation or divorce when emotions tend to run hot and affect the parties’ abilities to reach agreement in an amicable manner. According to the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act, couples can address issues such as (a) the disposition and treatment of property, (b) spousal support, (d) making a will or trust in order to carry out the terms of the agreement, (e) life insurance ownership and death benefits, and (f) any other personal rights and obligations not illegal or contrary to public policy.
Premarital Agreements are particularly helpful where the parties are older and have accumulated significant assets and desire to keep those separate, one party has acquired substantial wealth he or she wishes to maintain as separate, parties wish to designate property as marital and separate, or the parties wish to address the issue of spousal support should it arise.