Getting married is a big step. It’s also a risk, especially if you have a lot of assets or a high net worth. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by executing a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse before you tie the knot. The experienced Fairfax prenuptial agreements lawyers at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC can help you make sure it’s done right.
The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC has been helping families in Northern Virginia navigate complex, emotionally charged legal disputes since 2014. As award-winning family law attorneys with more than a decade of combined experience, we’ve helped countless families build better futures together and apart.
Whether you need to write up a prenuptial agreement or enforce one that’s been written, our top-rated legal team is here to help. Contact our Fairfax, VA, law office by calling (703) 271-6519 to schedule a free consultation to learn more.
How The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC Can Help You Execute or Enforce a Prenuptial Agreement in Fairfax, VA
A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a prenup, can be a great tool. However, it must be designed properly – and within the parameters of Virginia state law – to be effective. Any problems with your prenup can render it void – and useless – down the line.
The best way to set yourself up for success is by hiring an experienced Fairfax family law attorney to help you craft your prenup.
At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we’re recognized by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys and Expertise.com for our outstanding legal services. We’ve gained top ratings on Justia, Avvo, and Google by providing the trusted, compassionate, and skilled legal representation clients need when navigating stressful times in their lives.
When you ask for our help with your prenuptial agreement, you’ll be able to count on us to:
- Help you and your partner communicate and identify what you want to address in the agreement
- Offer guidance as you and your partner negotiate the terms of the contract
- Confirm that both you and your partner are fully aware of and in agreement on the terms of the prenup
- Draft a legally binding prenuptial agreement that will become effective on the date of your marriage
- Ensure that the prenup complies with all requirements and limitations established by Virginia statutes
- Help you amend or revise the terms of your prenup after you’ve gotten married
If you ultimately decide to get a divorce, our family law attorneys can also be there to enforce the prenup and work to make sure that the terms are satisfied. You worked hard to negotiate a fair agreement. We’ll be there to help you see it through.
Contact our Fairfax, Virginia, law office today to learn more. Your first consultation is free.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a private contract executed by spouses before they’re married. The prenuptial agreement, which must be in writing and signed by both parties, allows spouses to sidestep aspects of Virginia divorce law.
Virginia is an equitable division state. Spouses are entitled to a fair, but not necessarily equal, share of marital assets in a divorce. Among other things, spouses can dictate how specific pieces of property are divided, how business interests are handled, and how retirement and investment accounts are allocated by executing a prenuptial agreement.
Pursuant to the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act, a prenup can dictate:
- Rights and obligations to property
- The right to buy, sell, transfer, exchange, or otherwise manage and control property
- How property should be handled in the event of a separation, dissolution of marriage, or death of a spouse
- Spousal support
- The creation of a will, trust, or other legal device to carry out the terms of the agreement
- Inheritance rights and obligations
- How bills and household expenses should be handled, and
- Whether gifts to the couple are to be treated as separate or marital property.
Putting these terms in a prenup can help to ensure that important decisions aren’t made when tensions are high, and spouses are more likely to make rash decisions out of spite or anger. Rather, decisions are made with level heads, helping to ensure a better result.
What Are the Legal Requirements of a Prenuptial Agreement?
In order to be valid and legally binding, a prenuptial agreement must comply with the laws of the State of Virginia.
A prenuptial agreement must comply with the following:
- The terms of a prenuptial agreement cannot be unconscionable.
- Both parties must have disclosed all of their assets and debts to each other before drafting the prenuptial agreement.
- Both parties must have knowledge of the terms of the agreement.
- Both parties must voluntarily sign the prenuptial agreement.
- Terms of the prenuptial agreement must not violate public policy or criminal law.
If a prenuptial agreement falls short in any way, the terms will not be enforced. The divorce will proceed pursuant to Virginia state law, and all property will be subject to equitable division. Previously agreed-upon arrangements will not apply.
Negotiating any contract – including a prenuptial agreement – can be a challenge. Don’t leave any room for error. Call our Fairfax prenuptial agreements attorneys for help. We have over two decades of experience helping partners communicate, find common ground, and build better futures together.
What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenups aren’t just for the wealthy. There are a host of reasons why partners might consider getting a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
- Protect yourself from debt that your partner acquired before marriage.
- Protect inheritances and gifts
- Ensure that you retain valuable property that you would never want to part with.
- Protect assets for children from a prior relationship.
Executing a prenuptial agreement can also save time and money if you get divorced. Since some or all aspects of property division (and/or spousal support) have been pre-determined, you’ll be able to focus on other terms of your dissolution. This can accelerate the process and help you avoid costly conflicts.
Can a Prenup Be Amended After Marriage?
Yes. You have the right to amend – or even revoke – your prenuptial agreement after you get married. However, both spouses must be on board with the changes. Any amendments must be done in writing and signed by both spouses.
Our family law attorneys in Fairfax can help you draft an amended version of your agreement and work to ensure that your best interests are still protected.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Challenged?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts. They become legally binding when a couple gets married. However, like other contracts, a prenup can be challenged by a spouse during a divorce.
Reasons a spouse may challenge a prenuptial agreement include:
- The spouse claims they were coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement and that they were not a voluntary party to the contract.
- The spouse finds out that their partner failed to disclose all of their assets during negotiations.
- The terms of the prenuptial agreement violate criminal law or public policy.
- Certain terms of the prenup are not permitted by Virginia state law, such as those involving child custody or support.
A spouse can challenge a single element of a prenuptial agreement or the entire contract. During a hearing, a judge will review the terms of the prenup, hear testimony, and consider evidence to determine if the contract should be enforced or voided.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Fairfax Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
A prenuptial agreement is a great way to prepare for a marriage, especially if you have children from a prior marriage or need to protect business interests or other assets. Writing up a prenuptial agreement can help you and your spouse communicate openly about your relationship and, in turn, strengthen your marriage.
Prenups are contracts. They must be drafted properly to be effective. Don’t leave any room for error. Call The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, and let our trusted Fairfax prenuptial agreements lawyers help you protect your interests.
Our team includes award-winning Fairfax family law attorneys with over 11 years of combined experience. We strive to make a positive impact in the lives of the people and families we represent. Our results and astounding client reviews and ratings are a testament to the work we do.