Before getting married, some couples choose to enter into prenuptial agreements in order to formalize certain legal matters about their property rights. A prenuptial agreement can help a Virginia couple work out how they may handle certain decisions in the event they later divorce. To this end, properly prenuptial agreements can save individuals time and money if they end their marriages.

However, not all prenuptial agreements are valid and therefore they may not all have influence over the outcomes of the divorce to which they attach. For example, a couple cannot enter into a verbal prenuptial agreement. If one party alleges that their prenup was spoken and agreed to, it may not be honored as prenuptial agreements must be written down.

Similarly, a written prenuptial agreement may be set aside if one of the parties did not enter into it under their own will. If a person was coerced or compelled into signing a prenup, or if they were not given an opportunity to read the agreement before signing it, the prenuptial agreement may be invalidated.

There are instances where parts of prenuptial agreements may be set aside while the rest of the documents are honored. For example, prenups cannot determine any child custody decisions and therefore any clauses related to child custody would be invalidated. The remainder of such prenups, if validly executed and properly drafted, may stand as controlling.

A prenuptial agreement can, when properly written and validly executed, be a powerful document during a couple’s divorce proceedings. As readers can see, though, not all prenups are created equal. When choosing to create a prenuptial agreement or evaluating if one will be followed during a divorce, an individual can contact their trusted divorce and family law advisor.