Fairfax Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer

A postnuptial agreement is one that spouses enter into after already being married. These agreements can establish how a couple wants to handle specific financial issues if they divorce or one spouse dies.

It is critical for each spouse to discuss any proposed post-marital agreement with a seasoned family law attorney. A Fairfax postnuptial agreements lawyer could help you draft a contract that is enforceable under the law and protects your best interests.

The Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement

Many situations could prompt a couple to enter a postnuptial agreement. In some cases, spouses have a prenuptial agreement that no longer reflects their wishes. A postnuptial agreement could supersede the prenup and allow the couple to decide on issues based on their current circumstances.

Couples who do not have a prenup could use a postnuptial contract to establish who has rights to specific property. If the couple divorces, a court must decide on equitable property division. However, division that seems equitable on paper can sometimes feel unfair in practice. Couples can avoid this situation by designating certain property as separate during their marriage in a postnuptial agreement with the help of a skilled Fairfax lawyer.

Postnuptial agreements are also useful if one spouse might inherit substantial assets or a business. Although inheritances are separate property, a spouse could claim an interest in the other spouse’s inheritance if they comingled the assets. A postnuptial agreement could also ensure that any business or substantial inheritance remains on one side of the family.

Establishing the Validity of a Postnuptial Agreement

A court cannot enforce a postnuptial agreement unless it is in writing and both spouses have signed it. When considering whether to enforce a written, signed agreement, a court will evaluate multiple factors laid out under Virginia Code § 20-155, including the following:

  • Each party must fully disclose their assets and liabilities to the other before signing the agreement
  • Each party must have an opportunity to have an independent legal professional review the document before they sign it
  • The parties must sign the agreement freely, without coercion or duress

A court will also consider whether a post-marital agreement is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. That does not mean that each spouse derives equal benefit from the agreement, but each spouse must gain something valuable to them in exchange for giving up any rights. A Fairfax attorney could ensure a spouse understands the terms of a postnuptial agreement before signing it.

Working With Legal Counsel on a Postnuptial Agreement

As noted, each spouse must have an opportunity to review the postnuptial agreement with legal counsel before signing it. However, a Fairfax attorney could provide other services to a couple considering a postnuptial agreement.

Many couples who seek post-marital agreements have complex finances. A legal professional could help a spouse make the required financial disclosure and confirm the contents of the other spouse’s disclosure, ensuring both spouses enter the agreement with an accurate understanding of their respective financial positions.

Legal counsel could also advise a couple or a spouse about the enforceability of existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. If necessary, they could help a spouse challenge or defend a marital agreement that is already in place.

Contact a Fairfax Postnuptial Agreements Attorney for Assistance

A postnuptial agreement could be an excellent tool to help a couple retain control over how they handle their personal and marital property. However, the agreement must conform to contract law and other requirements.

A Fairfax postnuptial agreements lawyer could assist you in every aspect of this process. Reach out today to learn more about your options.