How much does a Virginia postnuptial agreement cost? Many couples ask this question after they get married in Virginia. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about postnuptial agreements and why they are an important legal document in divorces.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost in Virginia?
Postnuptial agreements, often called post marital agreements in Virginia, are legally binding contracts executed by couples after they are already married. Similar to a prenuptial agreement which is signed prior to marriage, postnuptial agreements allow couples to protect their assets and decide how their property will be divided in the event of a divorce or death of one spouse.
It is strongly encouraged that a couple consults a lawyer when preparing a post marital agreement. Virginia has specific laws governing marital agreements that must be followed for the contract to be enforceable in divorce court.
Many couples want to know how much a postnuptial agreement will cost before they begin this process. Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement in Virginia is $762.50.
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- District of Columbia
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- South Carolina
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Who Needs a Postnuptial Agreement in Virginia?
Many couples think that postnuptial agreements are only useful for very wealthy couples or those with a lot of assets. However, this legal contract can be useful for any couple who wishes to take control of their financial future.
Virginia follows the laws of equitable distribution when dividing married couple’s property in a divorce. This means that in absence of a marital agreement, the court has the authority to classify a couple’s assets as separate property or marital property, and then distribute those assets as the court sees fit.
Equitable does not always mean equal so property will not necessarily be divided between the spouses 50/50. When determining how to divide property, courts will look at the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s income
- Education and earning potential of each spouse
- Age and health of each spouse
- Whether one spouse helped further the other’s career
- Standard of living while married
- Whether one spouse was the primary care giver for minor children
This means that even if one spouse contributed more financially, the court will still look at the actions of the other spouse to determine how to fairly distribute property.
What's Typically Included in a Virginia Postnuptial Agreement
The provisions included in a postnuptial agreement will be different for every couple. These contracts are easy to customize based on the couple’s assets, debts, family status, and future plans.
It is common to see the following provisions in most marital agreements:
- Property division. Property division is the main purpose of a postnuptial agreement. This contract should outline how property and assets will be divided in a divorce. Divisible property includes real estate, personal property, retirement accounts, and investments.
- Spousal support. Spousal support may be awarded if one spouse makes significantly more than the other and provided a certain standard of living during the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can set terms of payment like duration of payments and amount or even waive spousal support entirely.
- Debt allocation. The postnuptial agreement should address how both marital and separate debts will be divided between the spouses.
- Inheritance. The postnuptial agreement may outline how inheritance will be handled if one of the spouses passes away. This may include provisions for how property will be distributed and whether or not any inheritance will be considered marital property.
- Business interests. If either spouse owns a business, the postnuptial agreement may include provisions for how the business will be handled in the event of a divorce or separation.
The Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements are sometimes created in anticipation of a divorce to serve as an interim agreement while the divorce is being finalized. However, many couples also execute these agreements because they can provide couples with many benefits.
Some benefits of a postnuptial agreement include:
- Ensuring fairness when dividing assets and liabilities
- Financial stability and a clear financial future
- Decreasing arguing and complications in divorce court
- Reduction in legal fees in a divorce
- Protects both spouses from debts they did not incur
- Protects children from previous relationships
- Protects business interests if either party owns a business
Postnuptial agreements are a useful tool for married couples who want to clarify financial expectations during the marriage, protect assets, and reduce the potential for conflict in the event of a divorce.
Virginia Postnuptial Agreement Projects
Postnuptial Agreement Drafting in Virginia
It is strongly encouraged for couples to seek legal representation when executing a prenup. While it is ideal for each spouse to have their own lawyer, couples can also hire a single lawyer to draft their agreement.
A family law attorney who is familiar with Virginia law will draft a comprehensive prenup that protects each spouse’s assets, adheres to applicable law, and will be legally enforceable in court if a divorce should occur.
Postnuptial Agreement Review in Virginia
If a couple hires two lawyers to represent them separately in the prenup process, one lawyer will draft the agreement and the other lawyer will review the agreement. The review process is essential in protecting each spouses’ rights and assets. Each lawyer will ensure that the contract is fair and reasonable for their client. This can include identifying loopholes that may have future legal consequences and ensuring that each party has fully disclosed all of their financial information.
Virginia Postnuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
Hiring an attorney in Pennsylvania to draft a prenuptial agreement will come with legal fees. Drafting contracts requires the time and legal skill of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average prenuptial agreement drafting costs in Pennsylvania are $750.00.
Virginia Postnuptial Agreement Review Cost
Document review services will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will take their time going of the contract and making edits as necessary.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs in Pennsylvania are $775.00.
How Do Virginia Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Hourly rate fee structures are the most common ways that family law attorneys charge their clients. Under this fee agreement, the lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for time spent working on the case or project.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Pennsylvania ranges from $200 - $300 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like drafting a prenup, they may charge their client using a flat fee. Instead of tracking hours, the lawyer will estimate the total time the project will take, and the client will pay the full price upfront.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in Pennsylvania is $762.50.
Get Help with a Virginia Postnuptial Agreement
Do you need help with a postnuptial agreement project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Virginia and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.