Premarital Agreements in Virginia

It was 1985 when the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act was first adopted. Premarital agreements in Virginia allow parties to legally enter into mutually recognized premarital agreements (often referred to as “prenups” or “prenuptial agreements”).

Regardless of the widely accepted belief that premarital agreements in Virginia are only established for famous and rich parties, every couple can consider. A prenuptial agreement safeguards the premarital properties of one or both parties as well as permits a couple to examine and assess the division of property and assets before entering into a marital relationship. More significantly, it permits a couple to take into consideration such issues even prior to a divorce or the time when neither party is emotional or angry.

Although any marrying couple may choose to go for a premarital agreement, here are some of the more prevalent reasons and logics for opting a prenup:

  • A marriage consisting of older parties with notably significant assets and properties which they have earned over the years that they seek to keep separate;
  • A marriage in which one person who has obtained wealth through an investment portfolio or an actively managed business wants to ensure that the wealth earned and accumulated remains separate property lawfully;
  • A marriage in which the parties involved want to clarify what items or components of property are primarily marital and what are (as well as shall continue to be) separate property; and
  • A marriage in which one party yearns to just limit or even eliminate altogether the all the possibilities of spousal support (alimony).

Signing a Prenup

In case you or your future spouse are seeking a prenup for your soon-to-be-marriage, then you must consider the following six critical things before signing premarital agreements in Virginia:

1.     Always bear in mind the purpose

The purpose of premarital agreements in Virginia is more about decreasing the charges of a potential divorce and simplifying the process, and less about defining the marital relationship or monitoring and directing the behavior and habits of either spouse. Knowing this all the time should support you figure out what terms are imperative to incorporate and what terms are not.

2.     Ensure protection for your current resources

People usually enter into prenuptial agreements merely to safeguard their separate assets which they are carrying into the marriage. In case that applies to your matter, then make sure to stipulate each separate element of properties and assets in your prenup, as well as take into account possible contingencies in order to make sure you keep such assets and property elements optimally protected throughout the marital relationship. For instance, you should take into account what follows when a separate asset or object of property is integrated into or intermixed with another marital asset.

3.     Do not sell yourself

Know your financial risks and never seel yourself out of future.

4.     Protect your assets

Determine division of marital assets and protect what you obtain with your spouse.

5.     Avoid spending much time on visitation and custody

It can hardly play a major role in planning custody and visitation that could occur ten years down the road.

6.     Know your bottom line

Lastly, when parties are not able to reach premarital agreements in Virginia with their soon-to-be spouse, then you are quite familiar with your bottom line, and know what the right moment to walk away is.

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