Prenuptial agreements can benefit even happy marriages

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Divorce on Monday, December 24, 2012.

Jennelle Evans, a reality star on the MTV television show "Teen Mom," has decided not to execute a prenuptial agreement with her new husband, a long time friend. Fans and others criticize her decision, noting that it appears Evans rushed into the marriage and that a prenuptial agreement could have protected her in the event of a divorce. Evans, perhaps like many in Virginia, does not believe a prenuptial agreement was appropriate for her marriage.

After just two months of dating, Evans married a friend, whom she has known for years. In addition to springing news of her recent marriage on the public, Evans has also openly discussed her decision not to enter into a prenuptial arrangement with her new spouse. She says the couple is filled with emotions and very much in love. They want to share everything, including the money she had made from her reality television show.

As appears to be the case with Evans, many Virginians may be hesitant to consider a prenuptial agreement because it can feel like an admission that the love between the soon-to-be-wed couple is not as strong as they believe. However, that certainly does not need to be the case. There are many reasons why someone in Virginia should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement before marriage - some of which can actually help avoid an unhappy ending.

These agreements can help outline certain responsibilities during the marriage as well as in the event of a divorce, which can keep court involvement minimal. They also keep property distinct and can distinguish between spouses' personal debts. This could be helpful for a party that is bringing significantly more assets into the marriage, as may be the case with Evans.

Entering into a prenuptial agreement should not be a marriage "faux pas." Couples of all ages - including young adults such as Janelle Evans and her fiancé - could experience the benefits of such an agreement even in a long, happy marriage.

Source: Examiner.com, "'Teen Mom' Jenelle Evans explains why she dropped the prenuptial agreement," Mary Jane, Dec. 17, 2012

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