Prenuptial agreements serve an important function in Virginia. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two parties in anticipation of marriage. It, in essence, determines how the property will be divided between the parties in the event of a divorce.
In general in Virginia, all property that is acquired during a marriage is considered “marital property” and is therefore subject to division by a court in a divorce proceeding. Moreover, if property is acquired before marriage and later jointly titled it is also considered “marital property” and is subject to division.
By contrast, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that property that comes into marriage through one spouse and remains separate, stays separate. Likewise, any property which was acquired by one spouse prior to their marriage can be assured to remain separate. This is very important for some individuals, especially those who have children from previous marriages. In these cases, the client wants to ensure that their property will be left to their children, and not to a new spouse who may have had nothing to do with earning it in the first place.
Prenuptial agreements are also useful tools because they can be used to stipulate how property that is jointly acquired by the parties during marriage is disposed of during a divorce. This type of certainty results in saving considerable time and money during a subsequent court proceeding. If you find yourself considering marriage and want to ensure that you and your family’s property is protected contact Bush & Taylor today to discuss your options.
See what the Code of Virginia has to say about agreements between the parties: