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Understanding the benefit of a postnuptial agreement

Like many of those in Alexandria City that we here at Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates have assisted over the years, you may have been so caught up in the love and affection you felt for your spouse during your engagement that the thought of your marriage ending never even crossed your mind (much less seeing the need to have a prenuptial agreement). Even now, the possibility may seem remote. So why consider delineating your personal assets at all? There actually may be a number of very good reasons. 

You might be thinking that this entire thought process is a moot point anyway, given that you are already married. Yet consider the state law defining the right for married couples to enter into finance and property settlement agreements. In Section 20-155 of Virginia's Code outlining domestic relations, it says that any such agreements between couples become effective immediately upon there execution. Notice how no mention is made as to when such agreements must be put in place. This opens up the door for postnuptial agreements. 

In what scenario might a postnuptial agreement be beneficial? Here are just a few: 

  • You (or your spouse) have a child outside of your marriage, and (if you choose to reconcile and remain together) you want a portion of your estates to go to him or her
  • You (or your spouse) is named as a beneficiary of an estate on the condition that you create a postnuptial agreement
  • You (or your spouse) want to insulate a personal business from the potential effects of a divorce

Another reason to consider such an agreement may be to control your destiny rather than being subject to state protocols if you do choose to divorce. You can learn more about setting up a postnuptial agreement here on our site. 

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Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates
124 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-836-3400
Fax: 703-836-3549
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Toll Free: 703-836-3400 | Fax: 703-836-3549

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