A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by both spouses before getting married. 

With a prenup, both parties can detail items, assets, or debts that will be theirs should the marriage end. A prenuptial agreement means the couple will not be subject to state laws regarding splitting marital property or debts. Instead, the prenup will be followed should the couple split.

While prenups have gotten a reputation for only benefiting people with significant assets, you don’t need to have a substantial amount of money or assets to benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Here are five reasons to consider getting a prenup.

1. Save Money and Time in a Divorce

Since a prenuptial agreement details how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce, separations and divorces often go much smoother when a prenup is involved. Some premarital contracts even stipulate whether one spouse will get alimony and how much. 

Prenuptial agreements can include property that you came into the marriage with and detail what will happen to assets or debts acquired during the marriage, saving you a significant amount of time and money dividing property should your marriage end in divorce.

2. You Have Children From a Previous Relationship

If you have children from a previous marriage or relationship, a prenup can ensure your children receive the assets or property you wish in the event of your death or a divorce. Without a prenuptial agreement, your assets will likely pass to your spouse if you die. Detailing what your spouse will and will not get in a prenup can ensure your children end up with the money, property, or possessions you desire and protect their inheritance.

3. Your Future Spouse Has Debts

If your future spouse is coming into the marriage with significant debts, a prenuptial agreement can ensure you are not responsible for those debts should the marriage end in divorce. Although this is unlikely in states that are not community property states, it is possible. Protecting yourself from being burdened by your spouse’s debt can also protect your credit during and after the divorce process. 

4. Keep Your Inheritance

Prenuptial agreements can prevent your partner from inheriting any of the assets or money you receive from the estate of a loved one. You can detail that the property or assets become solely yours or arrange how they will be split in the event of a divorce with a prenup. A prenup can also protect any inheritances or trusts you may be coming into the marriage with from becoming part of your spouse’s property when you separate.

5. Protect Your Business

Should you own a business, even if you started the business before your marriage, any assets or wealth acquired from the business during the marriage may be split between you and your spouse according to state laws. As a result, your spouse could end up getting part of the business or part of your profits. A premarital agreement can ensure what’s yours stays yours even if you and your spouse separate.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney

Ultimately, getting a prenup can protect your finances and property should your marriage end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement is simply a way to end the marriage on your terms instead of letting the state decide for you. Is a prenup the right decision for you and your future spouse? Find out by talking to an experienced divorce attorney today at Virginia Family Law Center, P.C.