There are a number of legitimate reasons that a couple may wish to enter into a marital agreement, but it is important to understand the scope and nature of such an agreement before you enter into one. A Virginia marital agreements lawyer can provide you with legal guidance so that you understand your rights in entering into the agreement, that the agreement is fair, and that it is valid and enforceable.
While marital agreements are common place amongst married couples today, it is important that you know the purpose and possible repercussions of such contracts before you agree to one. An experienced marital agreements attorney will advise you of what your rights are in the transaction and will ensure that your rights are protected.
Additionally, a seasoned attorney can help you with negotiating your marital agreement, ensuring that terms are fair and balanced. A Virginia family law attorney will also make sure that your final contract is valid and enforceable, drafting the agreement with language that is clear and concise, and complying with all of the formalities required for the execution of marital agreements in Virginia.
Marital Agreement Laws
Marital agreements in Virginia include both premarital agreements (those entered into before marriage), and postnuptial agreements (those entered into after a marriage occurs). Virginia Code § 20-155. In such agreements, couples can negotiate on a variety of different topics, including:
- The distribution of assets and property of the couple in the case of divorce;
- The rights of each spouse regarding his/her own property;
- Agreements on spousal support; and
- Provisions regarding the wills or trusts of the couple; § 20-150.
Virginia also allows couples to negotiate on any other matter, so long as it is not illegal or against public policy. § 20-150. Although Virginia allows couples to form such agreements quite liberally, there are requirements that Virginia imposes regarding the execution and enforcement of such agreements. Terms that are grossly unfair may not be enforceable. § 20-151. Also, the marital agreements must be entered into voluntarily by both parties, and they must be in writing and signed by both parties. § 20-149. In most cases, full disclosure of the couples assets and property is required, and failure to do so may invalidate the agreement. § 20-151. As with any contract, if the terms of the contract are vague or not drafted properly, they may not be enforceable.
Contact a Lawyer
Make sure you get your marital agreement right with the help of an experienced family law lawyer. Entering into a marital agreement is a big decision to make, but is a wise step to take for your future and for your marriage. Let one of our seasoned Virginia marital agreements lawyers help you with your agreement, and you will have the confidence of knowing that your rights are adequately protected, and that your agreement is properly executed and enforceable.