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Loudoun County Attorneys > Fairfax Family Law Attorney

Fairfax Family Law Attorney

The Fairfax family law attorneys at Simms Showers LLP are here for you when changes in your family structure require the advice and assistance of a qualified legal professional. We help couples who are just starting out put their marriage on a solid footing with premarital agreements, and we also handle post-marital agreements at any point during the marriage. For second marriages and blended families, we manage the process for intra-family adoptions and the many joys and benefits taking this step can bring. If a marriage does break down, our Fairfax family lawyers are skilled negotiators and courtroom litigators who protect our clients’ rights and help them reach a satisfactory resolution of critical issues such as child custody, child and spousal support, and the division of marital property. Our firm also provides critical support in matters involving family violence or domestic assault.

For help with your family law needs in Fairfax, contact Simms Showers LLP at 703-337-3133 to speak with an attorney or schedule an appointment at our Fairfax law office.

How Can a Premarital Agreement Help Me in My Marriage?

Premarital agreements, also called prenuptial agreements, are most often considered when the people going into a marriage have largely different incomes or property, or if one of the future spouses owns a business either alone or with partners. Typically, the higher-earning spouse will want to protect that property or business interest and not put it at risk in the event the marriage breaks down at some point, while the lower-earning spouse will want some assurance of being taken care of and not taken advantage of in case of divorce.

A premarital agreement solves these issues by outlining ahead of time how matters such as spousal support and the division of property will be handled in a divorce. Under Virginia law, a premarital agreement is “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” A premarital agreement is a legally binding contract that sets out the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to separate or joint property and the disposition of property upon separation, divorce, death or some other event written into the agreement.

In addition to addressing property, a premarital agreement can dictate the payment (or waiver) of spousal support. It can also require the making of a will or trust and set out the terms of a life insurance policy death benefit. The parties can address any matter they choose so long as it is not in violation of law or public policy.

Premarital agreements are also commonly considered among people who have previously been married and divorced and wish to avoid a drawn-out or difficult court proceeding. If either one has children from a previous relationship, they might want a premarital agreement to protect property and inheritance rights for those children.

Truly, any couple can benefit from a premarital agreement. By disclosing each party’s assets and financial obligations, and communicating upfront what each expects if things go wrong in the marriage, the couple can embark on their new life together with comfort, security, and shared expectations. The Fairfax family law attorneys at Simms Showers LLP are experienced in premarital agreements and can negotiate and draft a premarital agreement on your behalf or review a document prepared by another attorney to make sure it adequately protects you and meets your needs.

Virginia Law Recognizes Post-marital Agreements Too

A premarital agreement can be amended or revoked at any point during the marriage, so long as it is done so in writing. Additionally, couples who never made a prenup can execute a marital agreement during their marriage. A marital agreement can do all the same things a premarital agreement can do, and it becomes effective as soon as it is signed by both parties.

Some couples don’t have time to execute a premarital agreement before marriage or they didn’t feel right bringing up the topic. Other times, couples don’t feel they need a premarital agreement, but during the marriage one spouse starts a business or inherits money or property, or other subjects arise that make a marital agreement worthwhile. Call our Fairfax family law attorneys at any point during marriage to discuss whether a marital agreement might benefit you.

Help With Premarital and Marital Agreements in Fairfax

To be effective, both premarital and marital agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. They must also be entered into voluntarily. An agreement won’t be enforced if it is “unconscionable” (grossly unfair) at the time it was made. The party challenging an agreement must show that they was not given a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other spouse’s property or financial obligations and did not voluntarily and expressly waive in writing the right to such disclosure.

The Fairfax family lawyers at Simms Showers LLP can advise you on your options and help you negotiate, draft or review a premarital or marital agreement. We also represent parties seeking to challenge or enforce the terms of an agreement during a divorce or separation. For help with a premarital or marital agreement and all your family law needs, call Simms Showers LLP at 703-337-3133 to speak with an attorney or schedule an appointment at our Fairfax law office.

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