Prenuptial agreements are not designed to enhance romance amongst partners. It is a financial and property division planner in the event of a divorce. While two people who are crazy about each other are in no position to anticipate such a breakup, it’s important to plan for the “just in case.” Prenuptial agreements protect both parties and make divorces much less expensive and easier as many issues have already been resolved by the parties. We offer a Free Initial 30 Minute Consultation For New Clients. Give us a call or use the contact form below.
What goes in a Pre-Nup? Examples of Issues Included:
- Gifts – spouses can convey gifts to the other and it would be the receiving spouse’s separate property (i.e. not marital property subject to asset division).
- Separate Property – spouses can identify the real and personal property they wish to keep as separate property pursuant to the terms of the Pre-Nup. In addition, the parties can contract that any increases in value of that separate property, though such increase occurred during the course of the marriage, remains separate property.
- Retirement Plans – parties can contract that each party’s retirement plan shall remain their separate property, including any retirement received during the course of the marriage. Additionally, parties can contract that, in the event of death of a party, the remaining party can receive as a beneficiary benefits from the retirement plan.
- Marital Property – parties can agree that, in the event of a separation, any property deemed to be marital property shall be resolved as provided for in the agreement (i.e. sold – proceeds 50/50 or by decision of an agreed arbitrator).
- Debts – parties can agree that any debts that pre-existed the marriage remains that party’s debt. Further, the parties can allocate debt acquired during the marriage.
- Waiver of Claims Against Estate – parties can waive and release any rights as surviving spouse of the spouse should they become deceased.
- Spousal Support – provide for a specific payment schedule or for a waiver of spousal support.
- Full Disclosure of Assets.
- Modification Clause – the pre-nuptial agreement can be modified by writing agreed to by both parties.
- Voluntary Execution – parties acknowledge the prenuptial agreement is fair and equitable and that it’s execution is not the result of any duress or indue influence.
- Rights of Children – parties agree that the prenuptial agreement shall not affect the rights of any children of the parties either currently living or which may born of the marriage.
- Guardian or Conservator – parties agree that in the event of a disability, the remaining party shall not act as guardian or conservator for the other (e.g. they may wish to have an immediate family member act in such a capacity).
- Costs of Enforcement or Defense – parties agree that, in the event of a dispute regarding the prenuptial agreement, the prevailing party on the issue would be paid by the non-prevailing party all attorney’s fees and costs incurred.
- Incorporation In the Event of Divorce – the prenuptial agreement terms shall govern in a divorce proceeding as to what it has covered.
- Severability – any provision of the prenuptial agreement decreed invalid shall not invalidate the entire agreement
- Governing Law – Virginia shall govern the issues related to the prenuptial agreement
- Required to be in writing and endorsed by both parties
Can I do my own prenuptial agreement?
While there are forms out there, it is strongly advisable to hire competent counsel to draft a property settlement agreement. Every case is different with different property and custody and support issues. The lawyers at Letnick Law Firm PLC have been representing divorce clients for over 35 years. Come in for a free initial 30 minute consultation to discuss your case.