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Should you consider a postnuptial agreement in Virginia?

Most people have heard of prenuptial agreements. These documents outline conditions for the marriage, including how things like asset division and child custody and support will be handled in the case of a divorce. Sometimes, there are clauses that require the marriage to be a certain length for spousal support or infidelity clauses that include a payout to the spouse who has been cheated on.

Couples that have a prenuptial agreement are typically well-protected. However, couples who didn't create a prenuptial agreement but have experienced issues may want to consider a postnuptial instead.

A postnuptial agreement is often executed when a marriage relationship hits a rough patch. Perhaps one spouse has recently had an affair or is struggling with substance abuse or gambling. In order to save the marriage, the couple may choose to execute a postnuptial agreement that outlines the responsibility of each party to the other.

If done properly, a postnuptial agreement can actually help save your marriage. It can incentivize your spouse to stay after a serious issue. However, it is difficult to create a legally sound and valid postnuptial agreement without the help of an experienced Virginia family law attorney.

How a postnupital agreement can help

Sometimes, a postnuptial agreement is a result of a serious marital issue, such as an affair. In these cases, both spouses agree to clauses that offer financial incentives for the marriage to continue. It may also include a penalty clause, wherein one spouse forfeits certain assets or an amount of money if he or she repeats the problematic behavior.

Occasionally, a postnuptial agreement is the result of the sudden success of one of the spouses. If one spouse's career or business has taken off, the other spouse may see the potential for a lucrative divorce, at the expense of the other's success.

Creating, executing and filing a postnuptial agreement can protect the marriage and both spouses. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, where the party with more assets often has more power, a postnuptial agreement lets spouses work out mutually agreeable terms without the risk of a marriage not taking place. If your marriage has encountered issues or if you are achieving previously unimaginable success, it may be time to consider creating a postnuptial agreement.

Working with an attorney is the best way to create a postnuptial agreement

Some courts are still skeptical of postnuptial agreements. The best way to ensure that the postnuptial agreement you create is legally sound is to work with an experienced Virginia divorce and family law attorney when you create it. Your lawyer can help you find the right legal manner to handle the issues you want to address within the document.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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