Preparing for a Prenuptial Agreement

Thinking about, let alone preparing for, divorce before you are even married is not what most of us want to do. Whether we believe that divorce will never happen to us or whether we just choose to ignore the possibility, the fact remains that almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.

One way to enter into a marriage prepared for all outcomes is to create a prenuptial agreement. Creating this agreement doesn't mean that your marriage will eventually come to an end. Rather, creating a prenuptial agreement is just a way for you and your spouse to end your relationship on the best terms possible, should the end of the marriage come.

AOL's DailyFinance.com offers five tips that can help you prepare for you prenuptial agreement:

  1. Devise your prenuptial agreement well before the wedding - preparing the agreement early will allow both parties to fully consider and review the agreement. A contract entered into right before or on the day of the wedding may be more difficult to enforce.
  2. Don't let your emotions get the best of you - rationally consider what types of property you would like to keep or what a fair division of assets would be. Don't just give your soon-to-be spouse everything that they ask for.
  3. Honestly discuss money (and debt) - understand what the spending habits of your soon-to-be spouse are and how much debt he or she may have. Also, talk about how much each other earns so that property can be evenly divided.
  4. Make sure that the agreement is enforceable - stay away from fault clauses. Write a contract that will establish what will happen should a divorce occur.
  5. Understand the Virginia laws on marriage and property - learn what the difference is between separate property and marital property. Learn how to keep your separate property separate so that it remains yours and doesn't become divisible upon divorce. Discuss any questions about Virginia law with an attorney.

Starting a conversation about the creation of a prenuptial agreement may be difficult. But it may be better to be prepared and never need to use the prenuptial agreement than to not be prepared and wish that you were.

If you are preparing for marriage, speak to a knowledgeable family law attorney about creating a prenuptial agreement that is right for you and your future spouse.