How much does a Virginia prenuptial agreement cost? Many couples ask this question when planning to get married in Virginia. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and how they can protect your assets.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Virginia is $750.00.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost in Virginia?
Prenuptial agreements, often called premarital agreements in Virginia, are legally binding contracts executed by couples who are planning to get married. Prenups allows couples to protect their premarital assets and decide how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.
It is strongly encouraged that a couple consults a lawyer when preparing a premarital agreement. Virginia has specific laws governing prenups that must be followed for the contract to be enforceable in court.
Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement in Virginia?
Premarital agreements are not just for the rich and famous. Any person that has assets, a business, potential inheritance, or children from a previous relationship should consider executing a prenup before marriage.
Virginia is an equitable distribution state. This means that in a divorce, without a prenup or agreement, the court has the authority to classify a couple’s assets as separate, marital, or hybrid, 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. The courts will look at factors like the length of the marriage and the income of both parties to determine what is fair and equitable. In addition, courts can even award either party monetary compensation for marital debts.
If you don’t want a family court judge making these important financial decisions for you, a prenuptial agreement can protect your rights and your assets. A prenuptial agreement will allow couples to make important financial decisions prior to a divorce when there are no angry emotions to cloud their judgment.
What's Typically Included in a Virginia Prenuptial Agreement
The Virginia Premarital Agreement Act in the Code of Virginia lays out the rules for the content of a premarital agreement. According to §20-150 of the code, the following issues can be included in a Virginia prenup:
- The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any separate property or marital property whenever and wherever the property was acquired or where it is located
- The party’s right to buy, sell, use, transfer, or otherwise manage and control the property
- How property will be distributed upon separation, divorce, or death
- Provisions regarding alimony including the amount of each payment, duration of payments, and payment limitations
- The making of a will or trust to carry out the provisions of the prenuptial agreement
- Ownership rights of benefits from life insurance policies
Couples can add any additional terms into their agreement as long as the terms do not violate criminal statutes or public policy. Child support and child custody issues cannot be agreed upon in a prenuptial agreement. When determining child support and custody, Virginia courts look at each spouse’s current income and what arrangement will be in the best interest of the child. These are issues that cannot be predetermined.
The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Many people worry that a prenuptial agreement will damage their relationship or cause distrust, however it is quite the opposite. Premarital agreements provide couples with many benefits including:
- Encouraging an honest pre-marriage conversation about finances and financial situations
- Ensures fairness when sharing assets and protecting premarital assets
- Provides financial stability and a clear financial future
- Decreases arguing and complications in divorce
- Reduces legal fees in a divorce
- Protects both spouses from debts they did not incur
- Protects children from previous relationships
Some couples avoid a prenup because they think this agreement will cause their marriage to be focused more on finances than love. However, many couples have found that with a prenup in place, they actually worry less about financial matters because they know everything has been discussed, planned, and agreed upon already.
Virginia Prenuptial Agreement Projects
Prenuptial 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.
Prenuptial 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 Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
Hiring an attorney in Virginia 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 Virginia are $750.00.
Virginia Prenuptial 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 Virginia are $750.00.
How Do Virginia Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
Hourly rate fee structures are one of the most common ways that family law attorneys bill their clients. Under this fee agreement, the lawyer will charge a client 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 Virginia ranges from $225 - $375 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like drafting or reviewing a prenuptial agreement, they may charge their client using a flat fee. When using a flat rate fee, the lawyer will estimate the amount of time and work a project will take then quote the client one all-inclusive rate for the legal task.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in Virginia is $750.00.
Get Help with a Virginia Prenuptial Agreement
Do you need help with a prenuptial 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.