Divorce cases have risen in the past few decades in the United States. Some sources claim there is a 50% chance that a couple will divorce. More and more couples are choosing to enter prenuptial agreements to resolve the issues that would arise to avoid a contested divorce in the future.
Marital agreements resolve various issues that would arise during a divorce. The agreements can be entered before or after marriage. A legally binding prenuptial-postnuptial agreement can simplify a divorce in Fairfax, VA.
At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we devote our law practice exclusively to family law cases. That means we focus 100% of our time and resources on assisting clients with issues related to divorces, including child custody, father’s rights, property division, marital agreements, and more.
Our legal team is made up of highly skilled legal professionals who are aggressive trial lawyers and exceptional negotiators.
Do you have questions about prenuptial-postnuptial agreements in Fairfax, Virginia? If so, our Fairfax prenuptial-postnuptial agreement lawyers can help. Contact The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC at (703) 271-6519 to schedule a consultation with a Fairfax family law attorney.
How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury Can Help You With a Prenuptial-Postnuptial Agreement in Fairfax
Negotiating a marital agreement can be challenging. The issues involved are complex, and you need to ensure the terms of the agreement are fair to both parties. You need an experienced Fairfax divorce lawyer to represent you during the negotiations.
Attorney Afsana Chowdhury founded our family law firm to help individuals and families with family law matters. She recognized that our clients may be going through a challenging period in their lives. They need trusted, compassionate, and skilled legal representation, which we provide.
Our law firm is top-rated for our client satisfaction and legal expertise. We have a perfect 10.0 rating with Avvo and Justia. Attorney Afsana Chowdhury has been recognized by Expertise.com and The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys for her legal services.
When you hire our top-rated Fairfax family law attorneys, we will protect your best interests by:
- Assisting you in identifying your priorities and goals for a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement
- Develop a negotiating strategy to achieve the outcome you desire
- Advocate for you through the process of negotiating and executing a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement
- Draft a legally binding prenuptial-postnuptial agreement that is enforceable by the court
- Review proposed prenuptial-postnuptial agreements to ensure they are fair and enforceable
- Fight in court to enforce fair agreements or void agreements that are unfair or were illegally obtained
Most individuals can benefit from prenuptial-postnuptial agreements. These agreements are not only for wealthy individuals and couples.
You might not know how to broach the subject of a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement with your partner. Contact The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury to schedule an appointment with an experienced Fairfax prenuptial-postnuptial agreement attorney. We can address your concerns and help you develop a plan to discuss a marital agreement with your partner.
What Is the Difference Between a Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are recognized by Virginia law. The primary difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is when the couple enters the agreement.
A prenup or premarital agreement is entered into before the couple is married. The agreement becomes effective the day the couple marries. Couples can include many provisions in a prenuptial agreement, including, but not limited to:
- What happens to assets after a separation, divorce, or death
- The property rights of each spouse, whenever and wherever the property is acquired
- How the parties agree to handle a family business
- The terms of spousal support or alimony
- Agreements about how you intend to approach saving, spending, and investments
- How to divide retirement accounts after a divorce
- Whether spousal gifts during the marriage are separate or marital property
- Determine inheritance rights, although you should also have a Will and estate plan
- Filing tax returns
- Management of joint accounts and household bills
- Stipulations for putting a spouse through school during the marriage
Agreements that are not related to finances or assets might not be enforceable in court or could create problems with enforceability. Matters related to child custody and child support remain under the jurisdiction of the state. Judges decide matters related to custody based on the best interest of the child.
You can amend a prenuptial agreement after you are married. You can also revoke a marital agreement after marriage. The amendment or revocation must be in writing and signed by both spouses.
A postnuptial agreement is signed after the parties are married. The purpose of the postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement.
You can include the same terms regarding asset division, spousal maintenance, and other financial matters you can include in a premarital agreement. Many couples enter postnuptial agreements when they experience a significant change in their finances after marriage and to ensure they are on the same track with their finances.
What Are the Benefits of Prenuptial-Postnuptial Agreements for Couples in Fairfax, VA?
Couples benefit from entering prenuptial-postnuptial agreements in several ways. Benefits of a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement include, but are not limited to:
- Resolve financial matters that would arise during a Fairfax divorce without being angry and in an adversarial position in court
- Protect children from a previous marriage
- Identify the property that will remain separate property during equitable division
- Receive full disclosure of all financial matters from your partner
- Have open and honest discussions about your finances and future plans
- Protect yourself from assuming a partner’s premarital debt
- Ensure a family business remains solely in the hands of loved ones
- Protect commingled assets from being included in marital assets during a divorce
- Increase privacy during a divorce case
- Protect family heirlooms from being included in marital assets
- Ensure that spouses who are homemakers receive sufficient financial support and property during a divorce
Prenuptial-postnuptial agreements do not resolve all issues that come up during a divorce. The couple may still need to negotiate some divorce terms or litigate those terms if they cannot agree to a settlement. However, the marital agreement removes most of the financial matters that would typically be at issue during a Virginia divorce.
Requirements for Prenuptial-Postnuptial Agreement in Virginia
The law requires that a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement be in writing and signed by both parties. The parties must enter the agreement voluntarily. Marital agreements are not enforceable if coercion, threats, fraud, or other wrongdoing is used to force a party to enter the agreement.
Marital agreements that are unconscionable are also subject to being voided by the court. Unconscionable means that the contract is so oppressive or unfair to one party it suggests that there were abuses during the negotiations and execution of the agreement. Additionally, there must be reasonable and fair disclosure of all finances and property for an agreement to be valid.
Can You Challenge a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement in Virginia?
It is a myth that marital agreements are always enforceable. Some people believe if they have a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement, their spouse cannot fight for different terms during a divorce. However, a Fairfax divorce lawyer can help you challenge a prenuptial-postnuptial agreement.
Grounds for challenging prenuptial-postnuptial agreements include, but are not limited to:
- A party threatened or coerced the other party to sign the prenup.
- A party tricked or used fraud to convince the other party to sign the agreement.
- Changes in circumstances that the parties could not have reasonably anticipated occurred after entering the agreement, making the terms of the prenuptial-postnuptial agreement unreasonable and unfair.
- The prenuptial-postnuptial agreement was unconscionable when it was executed.
- One or both parties concealed information and/or assets during the negotiations for the marital agreement.
- The prenup or postnup does not meet Virginia’s requirements for a valid marital agreement.
A court can void a portion or the entirety of the prenuptial-postnuptial agreement. If the court voids your prenuptial-postnuptial agreement, you would need to litigate the divorce terms in court if you and your spouse cannot negotiate a divorce settlement agreement.
You can take steps to reduce the risk that your prenuptial-postnuptial agreement will be unenforceable in court. For example, each party should have separate legal counsel during the process. Hiring separate attorneys ensures that each party has adequate legal counsel to protect their best interests.
Each party should have adequate time to review the final agreement before signing it. A prenuptial agreement signed immediately before the marriage ceremony could raise questions about its validity.
If you believe your prenuptial-postnuptial agreement is unfair or you have grounds for voiding the agreement, contact our Fairfax marital agreements lawyer for a case review.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Fairfax Prenuptial-Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers
Marital agreements can be challenging to negotiate, but they can save couples money, time, and stress should they decide to divorce. If you are interested in learning more, contact our law firm to schedule a case review with one of our experienced Fairfax prenuptial-postnuptial agreement attorneys.