Most people enter into a new marriage with a sense of excitement and optimism. They never even think about protecting themselves because they intend for the marriage to last for the rest of their lives. However, despite people’s best intentions, a significant number of Virginia marriages will eventually end in divorce.
Simply because you were too young or starry-eyed to protect yourself at the beginning of your marriage does not mean you have to remain completely vulnerable moving forward. Many couples find that one of the three benefits of postnuptial agreements listed below makes executing a contract with their spouse a smart choice.
The protection of specific assets
Did both you and your spouse lose your parents in recent years? You might want to negotiate a postnuptial agreement so that both of you can protect your inheritance rights.
On the other hand, perhaps you have started a business intended to support your family. A postnuptial agreement can limit the risk of the business suffering major damages if your relationship fails and can protect your interest in the company.
When either spouse has property they want to protect from the possibility of division in a divorce, a postnuptial agreement might be the right tool to achieve that goal.
The clarification of marital expectations
The longer you have stayed married, the more your personal values and priorities may have shifted during the marriage.
If you and your spouse no longer seem fully aligned in terms of priorities and values, you may need to have an in-depth conversation about what you expect from one another, the marriage and the rest of your life.
Outlining expectations for one another and clarifying what divorce might mean for the family can help preserve your relationship during a difficult time and take some of the mystery and fantasy out of the concept of divorce.
The protection of one spouse from the other’s misconduct
After years of marriage, you may have gone through a rough patch that left one or both of you strongly considering divorce. When marital misconduct like financial infidelity or physical unfaithfulness occurs, it can make one spouse feel like they must divorce for their legal or financial protection.
A postnuptial agreement gives you a means of protecting yourself from recurring misconduct by limiting your liability or imposing penalties for continued bad behavior. When a couple invests the effort to negotiate a postnuptial agreement, they may find that they are able to rebuild their relationship and start working together as a unit again.