Premarital, marital, and separation agreements are important documents that are often belittled and distorted throughout the media and news outlets. Each document serves an important purpose and prevents parties from wasting valuable time, energy, and money rehashing all their problems in court. Instead, these agreements allow parties to amicably come to an agreement outside of court and ensure that their best interests are protected.
Premarital agreements consistently get a bad reputation because they essentially provide for an agreement in case of a future divorce. While this is not the best step forward for some couples, for other couples it is an important way to act responsibly prior to a marriage. Premarital agreements are a great option for individuals entering into a second marriage with children. You want to be able to protect your children in case of an unintended future event. For example, if you and your spouse are both killed in the same accident, you want to ensure that your children receive any funds from your estate and are not left alone. Premarital agreements often address the following issues:
- Rights and obligations of both parties regarding their property
- The right to manage, divide, and sell property
- Spousal support
- References to wills or trusts
- Division of property at death or divorce
- Life insurance policies
Marital agreements essentially serve the same purpose as premarital agreements, although they are entered into during the course of a marriage. These agreements allow spouses to differentiate their property and allow for easy division of property in case of death or divorce of either spouse.
Separation agreements offer a way for spouses contemplating divorce to separate for a period of time without going through divorce proceedings. Virginia does not have a legal separation agreement, but if two parties wish to separate, they can simply stop living together as a married couple. This does not mean one spouse must move out, but there must be a clear indication to end the marriage. Many couples often do not want to go through the financial and emotional struggle of divorce and instead work together to keep a relationship intact even though they no longer want to remain married.
MichieHamlett | Charlottesville, Virginia Family Law Attorneys
Premarital, marital, and separation agreements all offer a way for couples to conserve their resources and come to their own arrangements without court intervention. Attorneys are often needed to draft documents and to help mediate any decision-making, but it is important for parties to come to their own arrangement in these type of agreements. Each type of agreement offers a way for the party to protect their finances and family in case of an unfortunate circumstance while still preserving a marriage or relationship. If you are contemplating entering into any of these types of agreements, do not hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys of MichieHamlett. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and have a background in both business law and family law, allowing them to accurately determine what needs to be included in any type of legal agreement.