After years of working, people in Virginia often acquire a great deal of assets. They may have a home that they have worked to purchase as well as retirement funds meant to support them in their later years. As a result, couples who are older when they marry — either for the first time or as a remarriage — often have additional considerations than those marrying for the first time while they are still young and with few assets. As such, many turn to a prenuptial agreement to protect their assets as well as carefully lay out how funds will be spent during the marriage.
Regardless of their age, the first priority of many parents is to protect their children. As a result, one of the priorities of someone who is remarrying but has children from a previous relationship is to ensure that both their new spouse and their children are cared for. A prenuptial agreement can help; it can specify that an estate plan will be created that will leave assets to both children and the surviving spouse as well as creating a trust that will be provide for the latter until his or her death but will then revert to the other spouse’s children.
A prenuptial agreement can also determine how assets will be spent. For example, if both spouses have retirement funds, they couple may decide to live off one person’s fund and how household expenses will be divided. It can also detail how any disputes — either in the event of a divorce or between children and a surviving spouse — will be resolved, often requiring that alternative dispute resolution methods are used.
A prenuptial agreement can be helpful for a variety of different of couples in Virginia but may be especially so for those entering a second marriage. The process allows couples to be frank about their current financial situation and their expectations for the marriage. An attorney with experience negotiating and creating such documents can help a person considering marriage fully understand the impact of an agreement and ensure that his or her interests are protected.