Prenuptial And Post-Nuptial Agreement Lawyer
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that two parties enter into in contemplation of marriage. It can also be referred to as a “premarital agreement,” “antenuptial agreement,” or simply a “prenup”. Prenuptial agreements can be tricky to navigate — substantively and emotionally.
Prenuptial agreements don’t just lay out the financial plan for your marriage in legal terms — they also involve honest communication about your relationship and future. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement except that it is entered into after the parties have married.
Knowledgeable Counsel In Virginia And Maryland
Virginia and Maryland are equitable-distribution states, any assets acquired during the marriage are divided between the spouses in a fair and equitable manner. For separate assets, those brought into the marriage, the analysis could be complicated and costly if there has been commingling, appreciation, contribution of marital funds toward the separate asset, and more.
Generally, a prenuptial agreement sets forth how the marital assets will be divided in the event of divorce or either spouse’s death. It can also address what assets remain the separate assets of each spouse and what happens to the appreciation in value of the separate assets.
Prenuptial agreements may also cover issues of spousal support with some limitations. In addition to addressing how the assets will be divided, it is also important to decide how debts, particularly those acquired before the marriage, will be divided. Prenuptial agreements are generally not enforceable for custody of children because the consideration there must be the best interests of the children.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Beware of these common mistakes when negotiating a Prenuptial agreement: having the same attorney, using online generic prenuptial agreements, letting emotions control the negotiation, avoiding talking about it because it is awkward, difficult, and you don’t want to ruin the upcoming wedding, or negotiating too quickly and not getting what is in your best interest. You can have a sunset provision in the prenup, meaning that when certain conditions are met, i.e., been married for a certain number of years, the terms change or the prenup dissolves.
Some must-haves for prenups to be enforceable:
1. agreement must be in writing and signed by the parties (oral prenups are unenforceable);
2. must be executed voluntarily;
3. full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution; and
4. the agreement cannot be unconscionable.