Marital Agreements

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of addressing the possibility of divorce while you are still engaged or just married, you are not alone. Many people feel this way. Yet, with roughly half of all marriages ending in divorce, more couples are choosing to take advantage of the practical benefits offered by prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Understanding The Benefits Of Marital Agreements

It is not true that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are useful only to people with substantial means or assets. The reality is that divorce-related legal expenses frequently have a much greater impact on parties with modest financial means than they do on parties who might be considered well off or wealthy.

In this context, prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements ought to be seen as the proverbial "ounce of prevention" that can eliminate or minimize many of the problems divorce poses for any couple.

These agreements are also versatile and can be used to address a wide range of issues, including the characterization of property and assets as "marital" or "separate," how finances will be handled during the marriage, the division of property in different circumstances (death, separation, divorce, etc.), and disputes regarding spousal support.

Briefly summarized, a well-considered, carefully drafted marital agreement can benefit anyone by leaving little to fight about in just about any circumstance.

Is Your Virginia Marital Agreement Valid?

For either type of marital agreement (prenuptial or postnuptial) to be valid and enforceable, the following threshold requirements must be satisfied:

  • The agreement must be in writing.
  • It must be signed by both parties.
  • The terms of the agreement must meet basic standards of fairness.
  • Both parties must provide full disclosure of their respective assets and liabilities prior to entering into the agreement.

These essentials alone, however, do not guarantee validity or enforceability. Each party should also have his or her own attorney and the agreement itself should not be entered into under circumstances that could later be challenged on grounds of duress (the week before the wedding, for example).

Contact Us For Answers

Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C. has been crafting personalized marital agreements for couples in Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia for more than 20 years. To learn more and to find out how we can help, call us at 703-591-7475 or contact us online to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our lawyers.