Experienced Attorneys in Charlottesville, VA Craft Premarital Agreements
Reliable advice focused on protecting your property rights
Although it may not sound terribly romantic, a premarital agreement can be a good thing for your marriage. By providing an element of financial security, your agreement can relieve pressure on your marriage, so you can comfortably enjoy a loving relationship. On the other hand, if you grow apart, your agreement can be the basis for an uncontested divorce, saving you time and expense. At Joseph & Mische, P.C., we draw on more than 70 years of combined family law experience to guide you through the process of creating your premarital agreement. We assert your interests throughout negotiations so the document you execute effectively protects your rights.
Your rights under Virginia’s premarital agreement statute
Under Virginia’s Premarital Agreement Act passed in 1985, you and your intended spouse can create an enforceable contract covering the following rights:
- The rights and obligations related to specific property owned jointly or separately
- The right to manage and control specific property
- The disposition of specific property upon separation, divorce, death or any other triggering event
- Spousal support
- The contents of each party’s will or trusts
- The rights to death benefits under life insurance policies
- The choice of law to be applied when interpreting the agreement
- Any other matter related to property that does not violate criminal law or public policy
Parties to a marital agreement cannot negotiate child support, because that is a right of the child, not the parents.
Our firm helps you create a valid agreement
A premarital agreement is worthless if it won’t stand up in court. We help our clients avoid defects in the execution of a premarital agreement that would render it void, such as:
- Duress or compulsion — A contract is not enforceable unless the parties agree to it voluntarily. We advise you of circumstances a court might interpret as coercive, such as unequal bargaining power, so you can avoid any taint in the execution of your agreement.
- Fraud — Valid agreements require full financial disclosure prior to signing. Agreements between parties with vastly different levels of financial sophistication are generally suspect, unless each party has independent counsel negotiating for them.
- Unconscionability — If the terms of an agreement are so unequal that they “shock the conscience” of the court, an agreement is not valid. Unconscionability is judged at the time of formation. If, for example, the couple divided their property in equal measures at the outset, but over time, the property designated for one spouse lost its value while the other spouse’s property grew in value, the law would not void the agreement to restore balance.
When you come to our family law office for a premarital agreement, you can rely on our knowledge, dedication, and attention to detail. We are determined to provide the results you need.
Trust our Charlotte family lawyers to negotiate your premarital agreement
A premarital agreement provides important protections that can make you feel more secure in your marriage. The knowledgeable attorneys at Joseph & Mische, P.C. can help you execute a contract that can withstand court scrutiny. Call our Charlottesville office at 434.260.8749. You can also contact our firm online to schedule a confidential appointment.