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Alexandria Family Law Blog

Why would a prenup benefit your marriage?

You are excited about your upcoming wedding and still soaking in the bliss of your engagement. The last thing on your mind right now is if your relationship will end in an abrupt divorce. However, planning ahead for the future and signing a notarized prenup in Virginia with your spouse, is an excellent way to have peace of mind and security. 

A prenup allows you the chance to discuss important topics that may potentially be areas of disagreement in your marriage. Discussing these things at the get-go may prevent a lot of unnecessary contention and misunderstanding. According to the Business Insider, even talking about a prenup and creating the agreement with your spouse is an effective way to engage in open communication. You may choose to discuss anything from child care and parenting styles to ways that you will handle discipline. You may also wish to talk about important topics related to your finances including debt allocation. 

Guiding clients through challenging times

Bankruptcy and divorce often go hand in hand for Virginia couples, so we often handle both issues for our clients. Either money troubles lead to a strained marriage or asset division in a divorce causes insurmountable financial obstacles for the former spouses. We have even seen businesses go into bankruptcy as a result of disadvantageous separation terms. At Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates, our goal is to provide seamless guidance and representation throughout the entire process of divorce, including any spousal support, custody and financial actions our clients may wish to take.

We often find that most of the frustration that people experience while going through a divorce or a bankruptcy comes from the seemingly incessant paperwork. This might include gathering documents, filling out forms or communication with various parties. We find that we are often able to minimize this source of stress when we represent clients through both financial and relationship legal actions.

Reasons not to sign a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements can be very important in establishing what rights spouses have in the event of a Virginia divorce. However, there are some circumstances in which you may not want to sign on the dotted line just yet. According to Findlaw, a prenuptial agreement may contain provisions that could render it invalid in a court of law. At the very least, you want to be able to examine any prenuptial agreement for provisions that could harm you or put you at a disadvantage.

First, it is advisable for a spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement only with the presence of an attorney. While not all states require a spouse to retain legal representation, the fact is not everyone fully understands how to protect their interests in a prenuptial agreement, so signing an agreement without the proper legal advice can put one at a disadvantage later on. If a court does deem the agreement to be unfair due to lack of legal representation, the prenuptial may be tossed out.

How to talk to your fiance about a prenup

If you and your partner are like most Virginia couples, then procrastination is by far the most preferred method of dealing with prenuptial agreements. At Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates, we often advise our clients to pursue these conversations early. The weeks leading up to the wedding are no time to be talking about your property division or spousal support plans.  

In fact, one of the first tricks to having a calm conversation about prenups is to start talking early. You might get lucky and resolve the issue in your first conversation. At the very least, opening up the issue is likely to give you a chance to try again in the event you are unable to make a decision immediately. Forming the foundation of a conversation before the wedding stress begins to build also tends to help you keep a steady head. 

Should you get married for the military benefits?

If you are in the military in Virginia, you may be aware that if you marry, you will see an increase in pay. According to Today, you could increase your annual pay by more than $10,000 just by getting married. However, getting married just for the benefits is a risky proposition. 

The military assumes your marriage is legally entered into and valid. This means you have the documentation to back it up. They do not investigate marriages to ensure you are really in love. This means that some people will take advantage. Some military personnel get married simply for the benefits, entering into a business arrangement instead of a loving union. This is an illegal act. If caught, you could face a court martial and serious ramifications. 

Will your tax refund be lower than expected?

If you owe back child support in Virginia, you may end up with a surprise when you get your tax refund this year. The child support office can petition to have all or part of your refund taken to pay the child support you have past due. According to the IRS, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which pays refunds, will withhold money for agencies, like child support

You may not know until your refund comes and is smaller than anticipated that child support was taken out. However, you can contact the child support office to see if your refund will be taken. Plus, the BFS will send you a notice that explains what amount was taken, why it was taken and who took it. 

The many ways divorce can impact your retirement plans

Getting a divorce will change just about everything about your current life. You will likely end up living somewhere different. If you have children, you will have to divide your time with them with your spouse, meaning you won't see them on every holiday. Divorce can also have a profound impact on your financial situation.

Most couples realize that they will end up sharing both marital debts and assets with their spouse. Barring a legally sound prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the asset division process can often prove to be unpredictable. One of the things it often impacts is your retirement plans, and not just because you'd now be traveling on your own.

What are you risking if you do not have a prenuptial agreement?

You may feel offended or upset at the idea of getting a prenuptial agreement before getting married in Virginia. You are not alone. This type of legal agreement makes many people feel uncomfortable. Some people even believe creating one means a couple is sure their marriage will fail. However, if you want to be smart about your assets that you bring into the marriage, then a prenup is a very good idea. Furthermore, even if you have not drawn up one, you still have one.

Forbes explains that drawing up your own prenuptial agreement puts you in control instead of the state. When you do not create one, then you are basically allowing the state to create one for you. This is because during a divorce, state laws take effect, but legal documents, such as a prenup, can supersede the state law.

How does remarriage affect your child?

As you begin to navigate your life in Virginia after your divorce, you may start to think ahead to getting married again. While you may have found someone you love and want to marry, you cannot forget about your children. Adding someone new to your family will be a huge change. In some cases, it could be equal to the divorce in the impact it has on your kids. You have to take the initiative to ensure the new marriage does not affect your relationship with your children. 

According to HealthyChildren.org, it helps to know what your child may be experiencing once you announce you will be getting married again. One of the top things is their fears about how this will affect their other parent. They may worry about hurting the other parent's feelings if they get close to your new spouse. Try to sit down with your children and your ex to talk about such feelings.

How can I cope with a difficult ex during a divorce?

Any Virginia divorce will be a tough situation for a couple. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your soon-to-be-ex is making things especially difficult, it can make the whole process even more tiring and upsetting. You may wonder how you should handle the situation.

The main thing is that you do not play into your spouse's actions, which will only make things worse. The Huffington Post suggests relying more heavily on your attorney to serve as a neutral party in divorce communications. The less you interact, the less likely it is your spouse can make things difficult for you.

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Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates
124 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-650-0367
Fax: 703-836-3549
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