Virginia Prenuptial Agreement Requirements

If you are planning to get married in Virginia, it is important to understand the state’s prenuptial agreement requirements. A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a legal contract between spouses that outlines how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. While some people may feel uncomfortable discussing the possibility of divorce before they even get married, a prenup can provide peace of mind and help both parties protect their interests.

Here are the key requirements for a prenuptial agreement in Virginia:

1. The agreement must be in writing.

Verbal agreements are not legally binding, so it is important to create a written document that outlines the terms of the prenup. Both parties must sign the agreement voluntarily and without any coercion.

2. Each spouse must provide a full and fair disclosure of their assets and debts.

For a prenup to be enforceable, both parties must fully disclose their financial situation. This includes providing a list of all assets, such as bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property, as well as any debts or liabilities. Failure to disclose all assets and debts can render a prenup invalid.

3. The agreement cannot be unconscionable.

An unconscionable prenup is one that is so one-sided that it would be unfair to enforce it. For example, if one spouse is left with no assets or income while the other retains all the marital property, a court may find the agreement to be unconscionable. To avoid this, both parties should have the opportunity to review and negotiate the terms of the prenup.

4. The agreement must be executed before the marriage.

In Virginia, a prenuptial agreement must be signed before the wedding ceremony takes place. If the parties sign the agreement after the marriage has occurred, it will be considered a postnuptial agreement.

5. The agreement must be notarized.

In addition to signing the prenup, both parties must have their signatures notarized in order for the agreement to be effective.

While a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable tool for protecting your assets and interests, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that the prenup complies with Virginia’s legal requirements and adequately protects your individual needs. With careful consideration and planning, a prenuptial agreement can help you start your marriage off on the right foot.