A prenuptial agreement can make the stress of divorce, separation or death a lot easier. About half of all marriages end in a divorce, so it’s wise to consider the possibility as unromantic as that may seem. Prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements, cover how property acquired before and during marriage is to be handled and who controls that property during the marriage and after a separation, divorce or the death of a spouse. Prenuptial agreements can address the issue of spousal support. Prenuptial agreements can’t dictate the amount of child support after a divorce.
Without a prenuptial agreement, property division of assets in Virginia, called equitable distribution, is determined by which assets each couple brings into the marriage and which assets spouses acquire by gift or inheritance during the marriage. These assets, known as separate property, are given back to the spouse who acquired them after a divorce. Any property acquired during the marriage but before a separation is known as marital property and is divided between the couple on divorce.
Types of People Who Prepare a Prenuptial Agreement
Premarital agreements are for people who have significant assets before the marriage or expect to earn or acquire large assets during the marriage. People with few assets such as young couples who live on a salary generally don’t prepare a prenuptial agreement. Celebrities, older people who have acquired assets, people with inherited wealth and people with successful businesses including professionals should consider a prenuptial agreement if they think there might be a divorce. Our firm advises that premarital agreements be agreed to well in advance of the wedding date.
Defenses to a Premarital Agreement
There are some ways to attack the validity of a premarital agreement. The signing of the agreement has to be voluntary and it cannot be unconscionable. Failure to disclose assets or financial obligations can be considered unconscionable.
Contact the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury if You’re Interested in a Prenuptial Agreement
Our North Virginia domestic relations firm will explain the law, the requirements and the reasons for a prenuptial agreement. The firm will also explain what is likely to happen if you do not have a prenuptial agreement. Contact our firm at 703-271-6519 for an initial phone consultation or schedule a consultation online to get legal advice on premarital agreements. The firm offers affordable rates for all family law matters.