Although prenuptial agreements are a taboo topic for many soon-to-be-married couples, entering into these types of contracts is actually one of the best ways to secure a family’s financial future. Recognizing this, more and more couples have begun drafting their own prenuptial agreements before actually tying the knot. It’s important to remember, however, that these agreements are legally binding contracts, so it is critical for couples who are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, to speak with an experienced Virginia who can ensure that their contract is legally enforceable.
What are Prenuptial Agreements?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts between prospective spouses that center on how financial matters will be addressed in the event of divorce. This usually requires a listing of each party’s property and assets and liabilities, as well as each person’s rights and obligations regarding that property. More detailed prenuptial agreements even include provisions related to any future assets acquired by the couple during the course of their marriage, as well as how those assets will be divided. Some marital agreements scale the division of assets depending on how long a couple remains married, meaning that if a marriage lasts a certain amount of time, the prenuptial agreement could be dissolved in its entirety. Prenuptial agreements often address spousal support (alimony) as well, either by waiving it or prospectively addressing its availability, amount and duration based on various contingencies identified in the agreement.
When Should You Consider Entering into a Prenuptial Agreement?
Any couple can enter into a prenuptial agreement. However, doing so is an especially good idea in certain situations, including when:
- Either partner has children from a prior relationship;
- One or both parties want to prevent an existing business from being divided in the event of divorce;
- One or both parties are bringing substantial debt into the marriage that doesn’t affect the other partner, such as a student loan;
- There are certain assets or properties that a party wishes to protect or keep separate from marital assets;
- One party is receiving spousal support from a prior marriage that will terminate upon being married;
- The parties wish to avoid the spending of a significant amount of money in litigation upon divorce.
If you or your partner fall under any of these categories, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Legally Enforceable?
A prenuptial agreement will only be enforced if it satisfies certain requirements, namely that it is:
- Agreed to voluntarily and not under duress or coercion
- Signed by both parties
- Signed after both parties have fully disclosed their assets and debts
Portions of a prenuptial agreement, or the agreement in its entirety can be revoked by a judge if the parties attempt to include unlawful provisions in their contract. For instance, in Virginia, provisions related to child custody or child support in prenuptial agreements will almost certainly not be binding five, ten or twenty years later.
Schedule an Initial Case Review Today
If you and your partner are planning on getting married in the near future, you may want to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. To learn more about this process, please contact the dedicated marital agreement attorneys at Duff & Kronfeld, P.C. today. You can reach us via online message, or by calling 703-591-7475.