West Virginia couples typically have a lot of decisions to make before their weddings take place. However, it is relatively uncommon for those who are about to get married to talk about creating a prenuptial agreement. This is in spite of the fact that roughly half of all marriages don’t last. At a minimum, negotiating a prenuptial agreement provides incentive to keep good records of who owns an asset prior to a marriage becoming official.
Brokerages and banks are typically only required to keep records for up to seven years at a time. Therefore, it can be difficult for people who have been married for decades to prove that they owned an asset unless they have the proper paperwork. Negotiating a prenuptial agreement can also help couples set boundaries and expectations for how they will handle their finances.
This can be ideal for those who may earn significantly more than their partners or who are bringing significant assets into the marriage. It can also be ideal for those who are expecting to receive an inheritance at some point in the future. Finally, talking about money before a wedding can help couples avoid commingling their assets. For example, they could choose to create a joint account to pay bills or decide to use a specific funding source to pay for household maintenance projects.
The presence of a prenuptial agreement may make the divorce process a faster and less stressful one. Instead of arguing over who gets alimony or who gets to keep the house, the terms of the agreement will likely spell out how a settlement will be crafted. Ideally, an attorney will review any agreement that is reached before the wedding takes place to determine if is enforceable.