If one or both of the parties in a Virginia martial agreement is amassing certain property prior to getting married, they would put together an agreement to protect those assets from becoming part of the marital estate by setting up parameters in the marital agreement.
If a person is getting married for a second or subsequent time, they would want to enter into a marital agreement to avoid any division of assets acquired in past relationships or through prior litigation, and for the purpose of protecting children that from other relationship. To discuss the further benefits of a Virginia marital agreement, it is crucial that an individual consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Benefits During Marriage
One benefit of marital agreements in Virginia, if parties are still married and not contemplating divorce, they are much happier and more willing to look at the big picture and make compromises. It is much more difficult to ask a person to do that when they are in the midst of a separation or divorce as emotions run very high.
The main benefits of marital agreements in Virginia are cost savings. The more issues resolved by way of agreement, the fewer issues will need to be submitted to a court for its decision. The agreement has the ultimate control of the outcome, whereas if the parties go to court and litigate the issues in front of a judge, the decision relating to a marriage and a divorce such as their financial future or perhaps the future of the children, are being put in the hands of somebody who does not know either party.
People often prefer to take control of their own destiny by way of agreement rather than taking the chance of receiving an outcome that is not good for them in a courtroom.
All financial conditions relating to the parties can be negotiated. This would include division of property, division of debts, alimony, and other such elements. A property settlement agreement, reached at the time a party has separated or divorced, can include terms relating to custody, visitation, and child support with a caveat that the court will have to approve those particular items because they relate to minor children.
Role of an Attorney
It is the role of every attorney, no matter which side they are representing, to ensure that no factors exist in the agreement to be challenged later on. In order to ensure that the agreement is being voluntarily executed by both parties, an attorney will want to know that there has been some level of financial disclosure made by both sides.
The attorney will make sure that both parties have the opportunity to retain counsel and seek independent legal advice; to ensure that there are no other issues of capacity by either party, i.e., one has a condition that renders them incapable of properly evaluating the situation or making decisions. All attorneys should do this regardless of which side they represent so that the agreement drafted for the client is in their best interest and cannot be challenged later on. A knowledgeable attorney can help an individual discuss the benefits of drafting a marital agreement.