Premarital Agreements

Facilitating discussion as you prepare for marriage

Take a second to consider the following:

  • Do you know your fiancé or fiancée’s credit score?
  • Who is going to be in charge of money management?
  • How well do you like your future in-laws?
  • Do holiday traditions mean that every family vacation is spent with family?
  • Are your children going to public or parochial school?
  • Who is going to take care of your children while you both work? (i.e., Do you want his mother to babysit?)
  • Do you understand what “marrying the family” means?

Family law attorney Julia Shalhoup is waging her own private war on the increasingly high divorce rate.  After working almost twenty years to ensure that her clients are involved in more constructive and less acrimonious divorce actions, she offers affianced couples advice on how to stay out of divorce court and maintain their premarital bliss.

Based on her experience, Shalhoup believes that most marriages fail because there is little or no premarital discussion about important (and potentially divisive) issues such as core values, money management, extended family concerns, sex, child rearing, and religion.  With increasingly fewer persons getting or staying married over time, studies show a significant negative impact on children’s lives.  Shalhoup, a former educator, has seen firsthand how poorly children fare when their parents embroil them in their divorce action.  That fact, coupled with frank discussions with her clients about the reasons they were divorcing, led her to develop this new area of practice.  These "counseling" lessons will be solely geared to delving into these sensitive and personal issues with people and encouraging them to address potential problems before they occur.

Assessing the effects of a potential divorce

At the law office of Julia Shalhoup, we provide the legal experience you need to protect the assets you have spent a lifetime accumulating.  Prenuptial agreements benefit families in each of the following ways:

  • Saving time and emotional distress at divorce
  • Minimizing the complexity of a divorce
  • Protecting family assets that are intended for existing children and grandchildren

Statistically, a little more than half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.  In West Virginia, property assets get divided through equitable distribution, so that marital property is fairly distributed between you and your former spouse.  If property division at the point of divorce can ruin you financially or prohibit you from leaving premarital assets to others, a prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is likely the right choice for you.

Prenuptial agreements protect assets for yourself, your children, and your heirs.  Many people who marry later in life have heirs from previous relationships who would, except for this marriage, be the primary beneficiaries to property.  Many have accumulated substantial assets and simply wish to designate them.  Others have received family property such as lake estates or other real estate that they wish to retain in the family should the new relationship end.

In short, a prenuptial agreement can help you avoid bitter disagreements over property and protect family assets that you want kept in your family.

Creating legally binding prenuptial agreements

Attorney Julia B. Shalhoup is experienced in the area of drafting prenuptial agreements.  You need to have a prenuptial agreement drafted at least several weeks or months in advance of a wedding.  This is to allow you and your future spouse to have time to consult appropriate legal counsel and make decisions about the terms of the agreement without the pressure of the upcoming wedding interfering with your judgment.  Also, the likelihood that a prenuptial agreement will be upheld by a court decreases if it is entered into just before the wedding.

Consider your new family's future.  Call today: (304) 345-4455

If you like to know more about prenuptial agreements, contact an experienced family law attorney at the law office of Julia Shalhoup in Charleston, West Virginia by calling (304) 345-4455 or fill out our online contact form.

From offices in Charleston, the law office of Julia Shalhoup represents clients throughout West Virginia, including Charleston, Hurricane, Winfield, Madison, Montgomery, Elkview, Ripley, Beckley, Hamlin, and Spencer, and Putnam, Kanawha, Boone, Lincoln, Jackson, Roane, Cabell, Clay, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties.

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