Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

Prenuptial agreements can help to prepare for the future

Virginia couples who are considering getting married may be well-advised to think about entering into a prenuptial agreement. While some people may think of a prenup as a sign of mistrust or a poor relationship, these agreements can contain provisions to protect both parties.

It is perhaps more likely than ever that both parties enter a marriage already having significant assets. At the same time, the divorce rate continues to hover around 40 to 50 percent in the United States. Many divorced Americans regret not having made a prenuptial agreement.

In order to achieve a successful prenuptial agreement, open communication is critical. Negotiations for a prenuptial agreement can bring mistrust and resentment to the forefront. However, it can be a means to communicate about certain key issues, including property rights, fidelity issues and child-rearing decisions.When planning for a prenuptial agreement, it is important to understand that not all provisions could be upheld upon divorce. For example, a provision that invalidates state law or public policy will not be held as binding in court. One example could be a provision waiving or otherwise dealing with child support. In addition, any property not disclosed at the time of the agreement would not be considered covered under the agreement.

The question of whether the prenuptial agreement is truly voluntary or coerced is another issue that can come up. This is one reason that it can be very important for each party to be represented by their own lawyer during negotiations, reflecting that both parties' interests were well protected by an experienced family law attorney.

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