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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.

    Partner

    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy

    Partner

    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros

    Partner

    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Four Common Misconceptions about Virginia Prenuptial Agreements

Prenup7

If your future spouse is asking you to sign a prenuptial agreement, you may be concerned given all the negative connotations surrounding them. Despite the bad reputation they have, prenuptial agreements can be valuable tools in a marriage, and can even help establish an estate plan. Before signing an agreement, you should review it with a Leesburg pre-marital and post-marital agreement attorney.

Here’s a look at four common misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements and their purpose.

Prenuptial Agreements are an Omen for Divorce

Talking about planning your financial future is not a guarantee that divorce will soon follow. The ability to speak openly about your financial future may have the opposite effect and actually strengthen your relationship. Prenuptial agreements are not just for divorce either. No one wants to think about it, but what if you or your spouse passes away? This can be used as a reference in the context of estate planning. Prenuptial agreements can also be used to set parameters for how assets will be acquired and how earnings may be spent during the course of the marriage. 

Prenuptial Agreements are Never Enforced Anyway

A poorly drafted prenuptial agreement or one that contains illegal or unenforceable terms would likely be thrown out by a court, but that isn’t the case with every agreement. Don’t sign and agree to whatever terms are in the agreement just because you think the court will throw it out down the line. A prenuptial agreement that meets legal requirements can and will be enforced by the courts. This is one of the reasons why you want to carefully review the agreement with your own attorney prior to signing.

There is No Need for a Prenuptial Agreement Unless You Have a Lot of Assets Before Marriage

This is another common misconception with prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements are not just for the super wealthy or for when one partner has a lot of assets going into the marriage. These agreements can include expected earnings and assets you plan to acquire later in life. Prenuptial agreements can actually save you money down the line and help prevent misunderstandings before they ever arise. Prenuptial agreements can also address how you will handle debts. In fact, some couples do a prenuptial agreement to protect one spouse from separate debts and encumbrances of the other at the time of marriage.

Prenuptial Agreements Mean You Only Care About Money

Today’s prenuptial agreements address issues beyond just money. Do you have a special family heirloom you want to ensure goes to your child from an earlier marriage? Do you have existing student loan debt that you want to protect your partner from? Or, maybe you were just accepted into an expensive graduate program with expected future student loan debt, or you both own homes prior to the marriage. Prenuptial agreements aren’t just about the money in your bank accounts, they can address many other topics, too.

Contact a Virginia Family Law Attorney

Each side should have a prenuptial agreement reviewed with their own independent family law attorneys to verify that the agreement is legally binding and not one-sided. If you need a Virginia prenuptial agreement drafted or you’ve been presented with one, contact the team at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC, at 703-997-4982 to schedule an initial consultation.

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