Virginia Marital Agreements Involving Children 

Virginia marital agreements involving children can be made at any point in a relationship, either before or during a marriage. Before a marriage, these types of agreements are called premarital agreements. During a marriage, these types of agreements are called postnuptial agreements. Typically, these agreements try to resolve any future issues concerning property, spousal support, life insurance benefits, debts and any other financial issues in the marriage.

Legally, for a marital agreement to be valid it must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement must be voluntary, meaning no one entered into the agreement under coercion. Lastly, it cannot be unconscionable by failing to disclose all the assets of either person. However, full disclosure can be waived as long as it is voluntarily done. For more information, contact a professional Virginia lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Children and Marital Agreements

Often people will want to enter into a marital agreement in Virginia to protect their children. When it comes to financial resources, such as a trust or property then marital agreements are allowed to protect the financial rights of a child. For example, if you have a child prior to the marriage then you can create a marital agreement that protects your children’s rights to specific property or business income.

However, certain issues regarding children are not always upheld by the court. When deciding child custody, the court will make a decision that is based on what is in the best interest of the child. While a court can consider any agreement, the couple has made the agreement will not be binding on the court. Therefore, the court can decide to make a decision despite what the marital agreement says.

Visitation Issues

Hand in hand in with custody are visitation issues. Courts prefer that both parents have a substantial relationship with their children because it has been found to be beneficial for the child. Therefore, any agreement that unduly burdens or limits visitation will most likely not be upheld by a judge.

Similarly, issues about child support are also not favored by courts. While child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent ultimately child support is paid for the child. Therefore, courts are hesitant to allow a parent to eliminate or diminish child support based on a private agreement. Again, a court may not believe that this is in the best interest of the child.

Children Born in Marriage

Another way in which children are involved in marital agreements in Virginia is if there are specific clauses in the agreement that are triggered in case there are children born in the marriage.

For example, there may be a clause that either eliminates the agreement altogether or increases the amount of spousal support if a child (or children) are born. Some people chose to include this type of clause because they believe that having a child will strengthen their marriage making divorce less likely. Another example is if one parent values having a stay-at-home parent they will want to increase spousal support so that even if they do end up divorced the other parent has enough financial support to continue raising the child without having to return to work.

Talk to a Virginia Marital Agreement Attorney Today

A marital agreement attorney can help you understand how any type of marital agreement will affect you both personally and financially. Furthermore, your lawyer can explain if any agreement you have entered into is valid or help you create an agreement that is enforceable.

When it comes to children, most marital agreements in Virginia will not be upheld, so a lawyer can help you understand other options if you are concerned about child custody, visitation or child support.