Family Law Attorney in Northern Virginia
At ShounBach you will benefit from the experience of a team of lawyers
who collectively have years of practice in the area of family law. When
you contact the firm to schedule an appointment with an attorney, a Northern Virginia
family law attorney will personally meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of
your situation. As the largest law firm dedicated to family law in Northern
Virginia, our attorneys have been recognized by numerous publications
and our peers for their capability, and we are proud to boast an acclaimed
AV-rating® from Martindale-Hubbell® and U.S News and World Report.
Over the years, the average age of people getting married has changed.
As a result, couples today are older and more established in their career
and have more assets than in the past. Sadly many marriages fail. Although
discussing and negotiating a premarital agreement may not be comfortable
or romantic, it may be less awkward and stressful to do at the outset
of marriage, rather than at the time you and your spouse are separating
or upon death of a spouse. The smart approach to crafting a premarital
agreement designed to successfully protect your interests in the event
things fall apart will be our top priority when you seek the services
provided by the team at our firm.
Establishing a Premarital Agreement in Northern Virginia
Virginia's Premarital Agreement Act defines a premarital agreement
as an "agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation
of marriage and to be effective upon marriage." A premarital agreement
must be in writing and signed by both prospective spouses. No consideration
or legal value must be exchanged for a premarital agreement to be enforceable.
However, if the person against whom enforcement is sought proves that he
or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily or, that the agreement was
unconscionable at the time when it was signed and he or she did not receive
a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property and financial obligations
of the other party and did not waive, in righting, his or her right to
disclosure of the property and financial obligations of the other party
beyond the disclosure provided, the premarital agreement may not be enforceable.
Premarital agreements may address the following issues:
- The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property
of either or both of them;
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume,
expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose
of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- The disposition of property upon separation, divorce, death, or the occurrence
or nonoccurrence of any other event;
- Spousal support;
- The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions
of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not
in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
Provided that required formalities are met, premarital agreements document
the parties' intentions concerning classification and disposition
of property and incomes currently in existence and those that will accumulate
during the course of the marriage. A premarital agreement resolves the
matters addressed in the agreement in advance of a decision to separate
or divorce or upon death of a spouse. A common euphemism is that "timing
is everything." This is particularly true concerning negotiation
and execution of premarital agreements. The further in advance of a wedding
a premarital agreement is signed, the better. Also, the stress related
to disposition of property and incomes in conjunction with separation,
divorce or death is, in large part, alleviated by discussing and resolving
these matters prior to a couple marrying when the relationship is stable
At ShounBach we educate our clients concerning matters that may be addressed
in a premarital agreement and different options for resolving each matter.
Together, we help our clients navigate the process of crafting a premarital
agreement that best protects the client's interests in advance of
their special day. Our attorneys have successfully negotiated and drafted
hundreds of premarital agreements over the years.
Contact a Northern Virginia divorce attorney at our office to learn more about establishing a premarital agreement
before taking your vows.