Marital & Prenuptial Agreements

Virginia Family Law Attorneys:
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

It is important to have an experienced and thorough attorney draft or review your prenuptial or marital agreement. In fact, there are several strong, practical reasons for doing so — not the least of which is protecting you from the considerable expense and the emotional toll that a litigated divorce can impose.

At Wexell Milman, prenuptial agreements and marital (postnuptial) contracts have become a common part of our family law practice in Fairfax and Northern Virginia. Our lawyers can explain to you what subject matters should be included in these agreements; what it takes to ensure their legal validity; and what provisions are reasonable and appropriate based on your situation.

To What End?

Prenuptial agreements are often thought of only as a tool that wealthy spouses use to protect their assets. In truth, you do not have to be wealthy to have assets that you want to protect.

In addition to their value in terms of asset protection, prenuptial agreements can settle a number of other important questions, including:

  • Who brought what property and debt into the marriage?
  • What happens if one spouse or the other dies, or either is incapacitated?
  • How will property and debts be divided in the event of a separation or divorce?
  • Whether or not spousal support claims are waived or limited
  • Whether or not a party to the agreement may make a claim against the estate of the other party upon death

To defeat any claims that the prenuptial contract is unenforceable, certain formalities should be observed in the negotiation and drafting process. Basically, each party should have their own attorney; the negotiation or signing of the contract should not take place under duress; and there should be a full disclosure of each party's property, assets and debts, or a waiver of the right to such a disclosure.

Postnuptial (marital) agreements are a mechanism for dividing your property and debt; provide for support; and resolve child custody and visitation issues. They provide a level of certainty and allow you and your spouse to decide these important issues as opposed to having a judge decide these issues for you.

For answers to specific questions you have about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements — call our law office in Fairfax County at 703-539-5398 or, contact us online. Daytime, Early Evening and Saturday morning consultations are available by appointment. Major credit cards are accepted.