Separation & Prenuptial Agreements

Legal Representation for Individuals Requiring Separation, Prenuptial, or Other Marital Law Agreements in the Roanoke - Bedford, Virginia Region.

Legal Separation Agreements

Separation in Virginia, also known as living apart, occurs when spouses stop living together as husband and wife. When this happens the couple is separated, but if they have not yet signed a separation agreement there is no legal protection for either party.

In Virginia there is no such thing as a "legal separation". Separation, or property settlement, agreements are legal contracts that both spouses sign. They are used to decide many questions of custody, support, property division, and debt. Therefore, it is imperative to draw up a separation agreement signed by both spouses that is legal and binding.

A properly executed separation agreement can be enforced later in the courts as a contract. When there is a divorce decree incorporating it, the agreement will also be part of a court order which can be enforced through contempt of court proceedings. Separation agreements are binding, with the exception of decisions involving the children that can always be changed by a court at either parent's request.

Prenuptial Agreement

The Commonwealth of Virginia upholds written premarital agreements. They must be signed by both parties without legal consideration and cannot violate public policy or criminal laws.The content of a prenuptial agreement addresses provisions property division and spousal support, in the event of a breakup of the marriage. They may also include terms for forfeiting assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Personal-finance expert Suze Orman encourages every engaged couple to get prenuptial agreements to protect their current and future assets as well as to shield themselves in case a mate secretly runs up massive credit card debt (which could damage both partners’ credit scores).

A prenuptial agreement, or a premarital agreement, is a written contract entered into prior to a marriage that makes arrangements for division of property if the marriage dissolves. Either party is permitted to completely waive alimony. Virginia will only allow parties to forfeit their spousal support rights upon divorce if the parties fully disclose their financial assets prior to executing the agreement. The Commonwealth, like most other jurisdictions, does not allow the parties to express future child support obligations in these agreements.

*In the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Likewise, in most jurisdictions, five elements are required for a valid prenuptial agreement:

  • agreement must be in writing (oral prenups are generally unenforceable);
  • must be executed voluntarily;
  • full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution;
  • the agreement cannot be unconscionable
  • it must be executed by both parties (not their attorneys) "in the manner required for a deed to be recorded", known as and acknowledgement, before a notary public.

*Information cited from Wikipedia - Prenuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement

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