Marriage contracts may also provide for custody and maintenance of minor children in the event that the marriage ends in divorce or legal separation. However, this is an area where state law may restrict the provisions of a post-marital contract. Some state laws state that post-marital agreements that attempt to limit or limit child support or child custody are considered unenforceable. When a couple divorces, different conditions must be established by mutual agreement. However, in the event of a disputed divorce, the courts will make the decision(s). The couple can prevent many of the financial problems and disputes common in divorce by using a pre- or post-marital contract. Below are some of the elements that can be included in the contract. Couples should sign a prenuptial contract a few weeks or months before their marriage in order to avoid a possible challenge to the applicability of the contract on the grounds that it was signed under duress (time pressure). A prenup only takes effect when a couple actually marries, as opposed to when they sign the agreement. See Go. Code § 20-149. Performing a prenup a few weeks before the wedding is especially important if only one party has legal representation for the agreement, as early signing makes it more difficult for the unrepresented party to argue that they have been deprived of the opportunity to have the document reviewed by independent counsel.
In contrast, a marriage contract becomes effective immediately upon signing under section 20-155 of the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act. Legally, these agreements are not necessarily the last word on how property is divided or on financial obligations after divorce. A court may declare certain provisions of a marriage contract unenforceable and thus invalidate those provisions or the entire agreement. To determine whether an agreement is enforceable in whole or in part, the courts assess: fairness, disclosure of assets and liabilities, the existence of independent legal counsel, and the timing and circumstances of the agreement. Prenuptial agreements are established before the marriage of the parties. Post-marriages take place after the wedding. Some couples opt for a separation agreement, which is a form of post-marital arrangement. The separation agreement allows the parties to be legally separated after the implementation of the document, but still married. When a divorce case is filed, a settlement provision is established to resolve important issues that must be decided in order for the parties to divorce. Whichever path you choose, Darren can help you through this difficult and sometimes lengthy process. Here`s the reality: if you or your spouse are rich, expect a large inheritance, or conclude your second, third, or fourth marriage, divorce or death would not only mean heartache, but would also lead to serious financial repercussions. In the event of death, these will be increased if your spouse leaves behind children from a previous marriage.
For this reason, more and more couples are choosing to sign a marriage or post-marriage contract. Here`s a look at both – and why either of them may make sense to you. The biggest difference between marriage contracts and post-marital contracts is the date of incorporation. A marriage contract is signed before two people are married, and a post-marriage contract is signed after the marriage. Some consider prenuptial agreements to be more enforceable than post-marital agreements, given that they are created when two people are still independent and the assets have not been legally merged. This can make it easier to avoid gray areas. Some argue that post-marital contracts are less reliable than prenuptial contracts because there is a different fiduciary duty and responsibility between a married couple and a premarital couple. Courts may find reasons not to enforce them, and as mentioned in this Daily Beast article, a post-marital contract can be seen as a way to ease some pressure on a relationship, not as an actual solution or long-term plan. In some states, post-marital arrangements may not be maintained if both parties have not had the opportunity to review and discuss the terms of the agreement with their own separate lawyers. Post-marital arrangements can be helpful when a couple has never had a prenuptial agreement and is going through a difficult time when the future of marriage is unstable. They can also be an option for people who are experiencing a significant change in their marriage. For example, if a person suddenly acquires considerable wealth for something they thought they had little value before marriage, it may be advisable to discuss and define the property.
Marriage contracts and post-marriage contracts are both legal documents that deal with what happens to matrimonial property when a married couple divorces or one of them dies. .