Celebrity couple Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have signed off on a settlement agreement, bringing them one step closer to a finalized divorce. The pair legally separated in August 2017 after eight years of marriage and officially filed for divorce in December. The couple has one child together, Jack, six years old. The couple has agreed to share custody of their child and their marital property will be split according to their prenuptial agreement. This, and the appointment of a private judge to finalize the split, has sped up the process of finalizing the divorce for the couple, who have remained on good terms since the split.
Virginia Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by spouses prior to marriage that agrees upon how certain property will be divided, personal and real estate, and any other marital issues they wish to include in the case of future divorce, incapacitation, or death of one of the spouses. These agreements are signed before the marriage is official and goes into effect as soon as the couple is legally married. Virginia recognizes prenuptial agreements so long as the agreement is in writing and signed in contemplation of marriage. Prenuptial agreements are not recognized in Virginia if one spouse did not sign voluntarily or if the agreement is unconscionable to one of the spouses at the time that it is signed.
Virginia law does allow for the modification or termination of a prenuptial agreement so long as both spouses consent to the change and it is signed in writing. It is important to note the items that a prenuptial agreement generally does not cover: child custody, and child support. Any issues regarding children typically cannot be bargained around with a prenuptial agreement because the court makes those determinations through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child at the time of the divorce, which may be decades after the prenuptial agreement is signed. However, a prenuptial agreement can provide many benefits for a couple during and after the marriage.
Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements
There are many benefits to signing a prenuptial agreement prior to a marriage. For couples where one or both are coming into the marriage with significant assets or liabilities, it can be helpful to identify those as separate property in the agreement. Dividing property in a prenuptial agreement can also support an estate plan and avoid court involvement for probate. A prenuptial can dictate any special arrangements you and your spouse have regarding specific property or living arrangements, and the agreement can significantly speed up the process of divorce, which saves both spouses time, money, and stress in addition to reducing overall conflicts between the spouses, which is incredibly helpful if children are involved in the proceedings.
Call Our Family Law Attorneys Today
If you are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement for your marriage in the Fairfax area, our office is here to help. Call or contact us today at Duff & Kronfeld to speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys about creating a prenuptial agreement in Virginia.