A marital agreement is an agreement entered into between two individuals, either before or after marriage, as a means of avoiding future litigation in case of divorce or separation. Marital agreements help to ensure that each individual spouse, as well as his or her property, remains protected throughout the marriage
Since marital agreements are legally binding contracts, it is important that both parties fully understand their rights before finalizing such an agreement. A Leesburg marital agreement lawyer can help to confirm that your agreement is both fair and valid. Work with a qualified family lawyer that can advocate for you.
Types of Marital Agreements
Virginia Code § 20-155 provides that married persons may enter into agreements with each other for the purpose of settling the rights and obligations between them. These agreements are typically referred to as marital agreements. In Virginia, there are two distinct types of marital agreements, prenuptial and postnuptial.
Virginia Code § 20-148 defines a premarital agreement, or prenuptial agreement, as an agreement between prospective spouses. A premarital agreement is effective upon marriage and essentially serves to prevent potential disputes between spouses regarding future support or property rights.
The second type of marital agreement, known as a postnuptial agreement, refers to a legally binding contract that a couple enters into, following marriage. This type of agreement often provides for how alimony is to be paid and how property including assets, income, and liabilities will be divided in case of separation or divorce.
In considering a marital agreement, it is important to note that courts are hesitant to allow any potential issues involving children, such as child support or child custody arrangements, within these agreements. Courts are usually of the opinion that decisions regarding custody are to be determined by what is in the best interests of the child, as opposed to the child’s parents.
Requirements of Marital Agreements in Leesburg
In order to be considered legally binding, a marital agreement must meet several different requirements. Most importantly, the agreement is required to be in writing and signed by both parties. A marital agreement may not be unconscionable or involuntary, meaning it cannot be based on threats or force.
Additionally, to be deemed enforceable, the marital agreement must contain a complete disclosure of each spouse’s assets. If an appropriate disclosure was not provided within the agreement, it must be clear that the other party waived their rights to such a disclosure. This prevents the marital agreement from later being ruled unconscionable in a court of law. A Leesburg marital agreement lawyer could help individuals ensure that their agreement is not later ruled unconscionable.
Why Contact a Leesburg Marital Agreement Lawyer?
There are a number of reasons why entering into a marital agreement may be beneficial. However, before the agreement is signed, each provision within the contract should be reviewed carefully and thoroughly to ensure that the parties are afforded proper protection.
Prior to entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial marital agreement, it is important that you understand all of your legal rights and options. To learn more about how a Leesburg marital agreement lawyer can assist you, contact an attorney today.