Most people have heard of prenuptial agreements to protect individual assets before getting married, but fewer have heard of a postnuptial agreement. When a situation changes between married couples, how do they go about preparing to negotiate a postnuptial agreement in Virginia?
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
While a prenuptial agreement is a marital agreement entered into by couples before marriage, married couples can create a similar document during their marriage. Postnuptial agreements can include:
- Legal agreements between spouses that adhere to the policies of the Commonwealth
- Negotiations for or waiver of the right to spousal support in the event of a divorce
- Division of certain assets in the event of death or divorce
- Obligations to pay legal fees by either party for divorce or disputing the postnuptial agreement
- Terms for wills and trusts of either or both spouses
When Should Married Couples Consider a Postnuptial Agreement?
A couple may choose to create a postnuptial agreement for any of several reasons. They may have wanted to create a prenuptial agreement but got so busy planning the wedding that time ran out. One spouse may have inherited a substantial estate from a relative or entered into a business agreement with an outside partner. One or both spouses may have children from previous relationships.
Other instances when spouses may wish to create a postnuptial agreement include:
- Needing to update an existing prenup and overwrite those terms with a postnup
- One spouse has been unfaithful, and although the couple remained together, the other spouse wishes to negotiate asset and debt division in case of a future divorce or add an infidelity clause
- A spouse discovered that their partner has severe debt from gambling or risky investments and wants to protect their assets
- The pay gap widens between spouses, or one spouse leaves their career to care for the home and family
- One or both spouses may have a child with special needs, together or from a previous relationship
Do You Need a Lawyer To Create a Postnuptial Agreement in Virginia?
When preparing to negotiate a postnuptial agreement in Virginia, you and your spouse should have an attorney create your postnuptial documents. An experienced attorney can review the terms of the agreement to determine whether the management of your separate property is legally binding.
In Virginia, courts review postnups much more closely than prenups. Because spouses have a higher duty to each other, the court wants to ensure that spouses have made full disclosures regarding assets, debts, earnings, risky behaviors, and other aspects that could affect marital assets and debts.
Contact a Virginia Postnuptial Attorney With DiPietro Law Group
When you and your spouse are preparing to negotiate a postnuptial agreement in Virginia, turn to DiPietro Law Group. Our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience helping clients maintain their individual rights and property in the event of a divorce. Call us today at 888-530-4374 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a postnuptial attorney.