Preparing for marriage is an exciting time, filled with joy and anticipation. Yet, it also involves some decisions that can affect your future significantly. One such decision is whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement. In Virginia, prenuptial agreements help couples define their financial rights and obligations before getting married.
It is important to approach the process of creating a prenup with care and attention. You should understand how to protect your interests and ensure the agreement is fair, transparent and enforceable.
Virginia’s prenuptial agreement laws
Under Virginia law, a prenuptial agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties. It becomes effective upon marriage and can cover various topics, such as property division, spousal support and ownership of assets.
Full and honest disclosure of assets and liabilities
Both you and your partner must provide full and honest disclosure of your assets and liabilities. This includes details about your income, property and debts. Hiding assets or failing to disclose information can lead to cancellation of the agreement.
Fair and reasonable terms
Your prenup should contain terms that are fair and reasonable. This means that the agreement should not leave one party with significantly less than entitled to under Virginia law without the agreement. If the terms are grossly unfair, a court may refuse to enforce the agreement.
Independent review of the agreement
Having an independent third party review your prenuptial agreement can help you ensure that the document is accurate, complete and fair. This person could be a trusted friend, family member or financial advisor who understands your situation and can provide objective advice.
Avoid coercion or undue pressure
You should not sign a prenuptial agreement under coercion or undue pressure. If a court finds that either party forced or pressured the other into signing the agreement, it could invalidate the agreement.
Creating a prenuptial agreement in Virginia is a proactive way of setting expectations and avoiding potential conflicts down the line. Remember to approach this process with honesty, respect and consideration for the future well-being of both parties.