A sample Virginia prenuptial contract is specific to the laws and needs of a Virginia couple. For that reason it may not adequately meet the needs of a couple living in another state. Therefore, it’s important to become familiar with the prenuptial agreement laws of your particular state before you take the necessary steps to legalize your contract. For the most part, all states follow similar prenuptial guidelines and processes, including Virginia.
Again, please remember that the sample Virginia prenuptial agreement is not the actual document and is only intended to increase your knowledge. Knowing what a beneficial Virginia prenup form asks of you will help you have more enriched and meaningful conversations with your fiancé. After you have a series of serious conversations about how you and your spouse-to-be would want your assets divided in the wake of a divorce, you can begin the legal process.
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Below you can view a sample of a comprehensive prenuptial agreement that is followed by every state. This form is only intended to increase your knowledge of what information will be required of you on the form and therefore what you and your fiancé must discuss.
Details to Discuss Prior to Forming a Virginia Prenuptial Agreement
Below are some important topics that you should talk about seriously and honestly with your fiancé:
1) Revealing Your Pre-Marital Assets and Debts - You need to sit down with your fiancé and evaluate all the assets and debts you have acquired as individuals that you plan to carry into your marriage. Assets include, but are not limited to, property, savings, real estate, possessions and gifts. Debts include, but are not limited to, student loans, personal loans and mortgage payments. It is mandated by prenuptial agreements that each partners disclose all assets and debts to each other. Many engaged couples find it helpful to make a list of their assets and then a list of their debts. As you create your lists, begin to decide what items you would want to keep if you and your partner should divorce.
Many people feel specially attached to particular items that they have bought or acquired as individuals and during their relationship. For instance, is the house that you and your spouse will live in been in your family for several generations? If so, you may want to specify that in the event of divorce you will keep the house. If you have any desire to keep certain items after a divorce you need to make sure that this is clearly outlined in your prenuptial agreement and that your fiancé agrees.
2) Revealing Your Marital Assets and Debts – During this step you and your fiancé detail the collective assets that you or your partner expect to acquire during your marriage. To do this, you both must have a desirous talk about your personal views on money handling, specifically budgeting, saving and spending. If you or your partner have been single your entire life, you have each been individually responsible for your own money handling and have created your own money habits.
Couples made of two individuals who are both getting married for the first time need to sit down together and create a financial plan that they both feel comfortable with before they add it into their legally binding contract. Some important questions that you should discuss about budgeting, savings and spending:
- Will you continue to have individual saving and checking accounts or will you share a joint account?
- If you maintain individual accounts will you each have access to them?
- Upon divorce how will your joint money be divided?
- How will purchasing decisions be made?
- Who will handle the checkbook and be responsible for paying bills?
- How will you pay off debt?
- How will savings for events such as retirement be established?
By looking at prenuptial agreements specific to the state of Virginia you and your fiancé will better understand what information you will need to provide on the actual form. This will help you know what you will need to discuss as you decide what works best for you as a couple.
This includes being open and honest about debts that you may not have previously disclosed to your fiancé. Although letting them know about this information may be uncomfortable, you need to do this so that you can both feel comfortable about your prenuptial arrangements before you make it legally binding.
3. Career and Education - Before you get married you and your fiancé need to discuss your individual career and educational goals that you plan to achieve during your marriage. You will need to think long term and consider events that may occur that would affect these goals. These events include things such as having children and career advancement opportunities. If one spouse plans to further their education or stay home once a baby is born, how will this be financed?
Talking about these goals openly and honestly will not only help you in your prenuptial agreement planning, but will also strengthen you as a couple. Some questions that you should consider and discuss:
- How will this extra money be handled in the case of divorce?
- Will one spouse stay home with the children?
- If a spouse has a career and choses to stay home, will the other spouse compensate for the money lost from not working?
- If a spouse is planning to further their education how will this be financed?
- Who will be responsible for paying off student loans?
4) Spousal Support and Alimony - Prior to marriage you and your fiancé will need to decide upon certain spousal support that will be paid from one spouse to another after you divorce. The amount that will be paid is based upon the contributions that one spouse made to the marriage. There a multiple factors that could be considered contributions. For instance, does one partner plan to give up a fruitful career and stay home with the children? If so, the spouse that remained working may be responsible for paying this spouse a portion of the salary that they would have made had they not stayed home.
In addition to determining the amount, couples also have the opportunity to specify an end date to the alimony payments within their prenuptial agreement contract. It’s important that couples talk honestly about alimony payments and dates before they include it in their contract. Each partner must know what to expect of them and by their spouse during the marriage. Marriages become unhappy when a partner doesn’t know what is expected of them.
The key to creating a lasting prenuptial agreement in Virginia is to spend a great deal of time discussion all parts of the agreement with your spouse. Before meeting with an attorney and creating a legal document you both need to have discussed all the possible outcomes and situations that may occur down the road.