Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Partnership Agreements in Virginia

Posted on October 2, 2012 by

Protect Yourself Before You Merge, And Even After Merging

by Colleen M. Quinn

A prenuptial agreement doesn’t seem very romantic. It is difficult to talk about—and can even be somewhat emotional. However, for most folks who are contemplating marriage, it is essential. Many marriages and committed relationships end in divorce, without a happily-ever-after. That is the unfortunate reality.

A prenuptial agreement is just plain practical. Going into the partnership, it also shows consideration and responsibility for the partner and for oneself. It shows consideration because it can spare a couple the messier and emotional aspects of divorce – the division of property and issues of support. It also can serve as an operating agreement during the marriage to help govern the handling of finances. Further, it shows responsibility for many aspects of life together, including the protection of children who came from prior relationships, protection of inheritance funds, protection of prior separate assets, and, most importantly, protection of one’s financial independence. Marriage is not just an emotional commitment, but a legal one — why not legally spell out the financial obligations in advance?

Who most needs a prenuptial agreement? Any person who

  • Has children from a prior marriage or relationship;
  • Is bringing a lot of assets (especially over $50,000 or more) to the relationship;
  • Has a considerable chance of receiving a significant inheritance;
  • Owns his or her own company;
  • Is a partner or has significant ownership in a company;
  • Is on a fast career path with the prospect of a very good future, including the prospect of a hefty salary;
  • Is (or will be) supporting his/her spouse while he/she obtains an advanced degree;
  • Will be foregoing his/her own career and/or stream of income to raise children to otherwise serve as a “household engineer”; or
  • Knows that the other spouse has a potentially disabling condition or illness.

At Locke & Quinn, we know of too many people who have suffered needlessly because they failed to enter into a prenuptial agreement. We could tell about spouses who supported the other spouse through medical school or law school—only to end up owing continued spousal support to ex-spouses who not only were having affairs but were poised to make hefty salaries. We can tell stories about spouses who have given up their careers to support the other spouse, the house and the children, only to be left with no operating funds and struggling to hire an attorney who will fairly represent them.

For a successful prenup, both parties must divulge all financial information, including all assets, income and debts. We know of spouses who have lost all of their hard earned savings because they were not aware of the other spouse’s debt.

If you’re already married, it’s not too late. Too many times, we meet spouses who have developed their own career paths or businesses during the marriage—and then are at a huge disadvantage through the divorce. Just recently I met with a business owner whose spouse not only had become a physically and sexually abusive alcoholic, but also controlled all of the business assets. When the one spouse started her own business, she should have entered into a postnuptial agreement.

As for same-sex (LGBT) couples contemplating entering into a reunion, given the current state of Virginia law, it is debatable as to whether prenuptial, postnuptial  or partnership agreements will be upheld in court (and could very well depend on the court and judge). Therefore, it is recommended to have an “arms-length” agreement that make no reference to the romantic union or commitment between them and that spells out the expectations and assets as between the parties. In addition, it is imperative that same-sex couples address their financial arrangements through wills, trusts, deeds, and lease agreements and also obtain reciprocal advanced medical directives and general powers of attorney. When children are involved, then same-sex couples should seek the entry of a joint custody order.

Finally, remember that any contract or agreement can include incentives or sunset provisions for the spouse who has “stood by” the other spouse for ten, fifteen, or twenty years — to award the success of a long-term commitment!

 

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Where do you go when you need an attorney? Most times you have no idea because there are hundreds of attorneys out there all claiming to be the best. I was able to find Attorney Quinn on the internet. I chose her because of her superior rating and prompt response. Attorney Quinn read my case and then gave me the legal reasons why it would be a difficult case to pursue. Based on her clear , thorough explanations, I decided to bring closure to the matter. It was the best decision I could have ever made. Thank you, Ms. Quinn and Peg, for the professional assistance you provided !!!!!!!!!!!! Brenda Williams Jones
brenda jones
brenda jones
Domestic Interstate Adoption finalization---Great team and outstanding legal services. From the first call to receive information to thr actual work of completing the adoption, the process was straightforward and I felt confident I picked the right attorney. Highly recommend Colleen Quinn and her impressive team. Charli was the absolute best!
Heather J
Heather J
Colleen, thank you for taking my case and providing me the closure I needed in settling a medical negligence issue. Because of your diligence and support, I can breathe a lot easier knowing that my experience hasn't gone unnoticed and without liability on the provider's behalf. Your communication and support are appreciated by me and my husband and our family; after many turn-downs from other firms, we are grateful to have found you and your team. I will continue to recommend you to those looking for a compassionate lawyer who will fight for the closure and results that women direly need in whatever situations they face. THANK YOU!!
Kia Johnson
Kia Johnson
Colleen, thank you for taking my case and providing me the closure I needed in settling a medical negligence issue. Because of your diligence and support, I can breathe a lot easier knowing that my experience hasn't gone unnoticed and without liability on the provider's behalf. Your communication and support are appreciated by me and my husband and our family; after many turn-downs from other firms, we are grateful to have found you and your team. I will continue to recommend you to those looking for a compassionate lawyer who will fight for the closure and results that women direly need in whatever situations they face. THANK YOU!!
Kia Johnson
Kia Johnson
Anastasia Eddleton
Anastasia Eddleton
Colleen and her legal team are top notch, friendly, efficient and would 100% reccomend and/or use again
Katie Oakes
Katie Oakes
We worked with attorney Colleen Quinn who is a AAAA adoption attorney. She is very knowledgeable about adoption as well as a very personable attorney. She helped guide us through a smooth adoption process. Her paralegal Charli is pretty amazing as well. We appreciate everything that you did for us. I also think your pricing is very affordable!!!!
Michelle Bower
Michelle Bower
The team at Locke & Quinn are the best.
Rene Haines
Rene Haines
Grateful to work with Colleen again on our second private adoption in 4 years! Thankful for her timeliness, effective commmunication, and outstanding staff.
Michelle Spencer
Michelle Spencer
So thrilled to work with Colleen Quinn once again for our second private adoption! Especially appreciate the timely, attentive, and effective communication with Colleen and her staff.
Michelle Spencer
Michelle Spencer
Stepdaughter adoption- My 8yr old daughter's biological father moved to another country. After 4 yrs and little to no contact I thought there was no way this would happen without a big headache. Well, I was wrong; to say everything I need t say I will give in bullet points: Caring, Personable, Upfront, Follow-up, Efficient, Economical, Experienced and Awesome.
Chris Perdue
Chris Perdue
As a client of Colleen Quinn I immediately knew her confidence and knowledge was what I needed for my medical malpractice suit. When 5 other Attorneys told me I had no case and wouldn't even listen to me, Colleen took time with me and immediately knew we had to go for it. 3 years later we have triumphed. She and her wonderful team had my back, supported me, and cheered me on the whole way. They never left my side, doubted me or stopped believing in me. Let the next chapter begin. I would definitely recommend Locke & Quinn. Thank you Colleen!!
Melissa Herring
Melissa Herring
I can't say enough good things about Colleen and her team. They have handled 2 step parent adoptions for us and 1 for a friend. Colleen is upfront about her plans for your case and made me feel very confident about our outcome. Charli her assistant is amazing and answered any questions I had quickly. If you are looking for a attorney who truly invests themselves in their work and really knows what they are doing you want Colleen.
Brandi Witherspoon
Brandi Witherspoon
My husband and I just recently finalized the adoption of our son thanks to Colleen! Our situation happened FAST, and Colleen never missed a beat. Colleen, Katie and Charli were all quick to answer any questions we had and made us feel confident in their ability to provide the services needed. We were blown away at the knowledge and organization Colleen had throughout this process as well! We intend to continue to grow our family through adoption again, and will be using Locke & Quinn!
Ashley Halsey
Ashley Halsey
My husband and I would definatly recomend Coleen for step parent adoptions. The process was quick and went smoothly. Her assistant Charlie was extremly helpful during the process as well. All and all they were extremly knowledgable on what needed to be done during the process which I feel made things go smoothly.
Bathsheba Colinborough
Bathsheba Colinborough
My wife and I worked with Colleen Quinn and her paralegal Charli (CharSalle) on my daughter's international re-adoption. We are in Fairfax, VA and they were happy to work with us even though we weren’t local to them. Everything was done by email and mail. They answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about the process. We worked almost entirely with Charli after the initial emails and phone calls and she was great to work with. They filed all of our paperwork with our court, everything went smoothly, and we received our Final Order. Charli has always kept us in the loop about the process and sent us updates. We mailed original documents back and forth without any issue. Their legal fee was very competitive and better than most attorneys in our own area. We are very pleased with their work and assistance in getting our adoption finalized. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Thank you!
Ahmed Rashid
Ahmed Rashid
My wife and I worked with Colleen Quinn and her paralegal Charli (CharSalle) on my daughter's international re-adoption. We are in Fairfax, VA and they were happy to work with us even though we weren’t local to them. Everything was done by email and mail. They answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about the process. We worked almost entirely with Charli after the initial emails and phone calls and she was great to work with. They filed all of our paperwork with our court, everything went smoothly, and we received our Final Order. Charli has always kept us in the loop about the process and sent us updates. We mailed original documents back and forth without any issue. Their legal fee was very competitive and better than most attorneys in our own area. We are very pleased with their work and assistance in getting our adoption finalized. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Thank you!
Ahmed R
Ahmed R
Great experience!! Everything I needed they took care of with a timely fashion! Highly recommend!
Morgan Williams Seay
Morgan Williams Seay
They were very professional and helpful with my unique case for the adoption of my son. I would recommend Colleen Quinn and her team to anybody that is looking for adoption.
Nate Davenport
Nate Davenport
kathleen cossaboon
kathleen cossaboon
Bob Stiepock
Bob Stiepock
Personal Injury is a challenging event on many levels in ones life. Have you experienced a moment where you were injured and need to seek legal advice? You need to make a call to Colleen Quinn today. I began to research different law firms that handled Personal Injury. I interviewed several attorneys and spoke with large practices to small firms. I was impressed by Colleens resume and her work with women and the law. I will never regret hiring Colleen and her TEAM. The word TEAM is exactly what I received through out my case. My case was attacked with professionalism and the team was always in communication with me. When I would call to ask questions or to get a better explanation I was always made to feel as if I was the only client. As my case arrived closer to the trail date, my TEAM went into full 110%+ effort and preparation. Colleen was ALWAYS seeking to settle my case with the best outcome that she could. YOU WILL NOT FIND A MORE UPFRONT, HONEST, HARDWORKING-GET IT DONE ATTITUDE THAN THE TEAM OF COLLEEN M. QUINN!! MAKE THAT CALL TODAY-YOU WONT REGET IT!!
Lisa Moore Walker
Lisa Moore Walker
Personal Injury is a challenging event on many levels in ones life. Have you experienced a moment where you were injured and need to seek legal advice? You need to make a call to Colleen Quinn today. I began to research different law firms that handled Personal Injury. I interviewed several attorneys and spoke with large practices to small firms. I was impressed by Colleens resume and her work with women and the law. I will never regret hiring Colleen and her TEAM. The word TEAM is exactly what I received through out my case. My case was attacked with professionalism and the team was always in communication with me. When I would call to ask questions or to get a better explanation I was always made to feel as if I was the only client. As my case arrived closer to the trail date, my TEAM went into full 110%+ effort and preparation. Colleen was ALWAYS seeking to settle my case with the best outcome that she could. YOU WILL NOT FIND A MORE UPFRONT, HONEST, HARDWORKING-GET IT DONE ATTITUDE THAN THE TEAM OF COLLEEN M. QUINN!! MAKE THAT CALL TODAY-YOU WONT REGET IT!!
beLIeVE Fitness
beLIeVE Fitness
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
After doing quite a bit of research on the adoption process, we decided to set up an initial consultation with Colleen, and we found that first session very beneficial and informative. There were many things that impressed us about Colleen from the very beginning: her level of expertise and reputation as an adoption attorney, the accolades she's received throughout her career, her friendly and personable nature, and her willingness to provide us with comprehensive information about the adoption process including projected fees. We also wanted to make sure that we were being well represented and advocated for, and quickly knew that Colleen would not only guide us through the adoption process, but advocate for us as well. Colleen is both passionate about what she does and compassionate toward all parties involved in the adoption process.Colleen’s paralegal, CharSalle (Charli) is an absolute treasure! Charli was readily available to answer questions by phone or by email. She would reach out to us if there was a birth mother interested in speaking or meeting with us after reviewing our profile. We were matched with a birth mother in November 2014, and our daughter was born in February 2015. Colleen and Charli guided us through the initial meetings with the birth parents, the open adoption agreements, and they stayed in touch with us by phone and email when our daughter was born. Our adoption was finalized in six months, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the level of communication we received, and continue to receive, from Colleen and Charli as well as the level of expertise and true passion they have for guiding families through the adoption process. We highly recommend Colleen, Charli, and the staff at Locke & Quinn to anyone considering adoption!!!!
Joe Ana
Joe Ana
My wife and I adopted a babygirl in 2015. A friend of mine, whose daughter is lawyer, recommended Colleen Quinn. We went for our initial consultation and we could tell immediately that Colleen was very knowledgeable and professional. She went into detail and gave us the costs associated with the adoption as well as every single step in the process. Colleen is very welcoming and easy to talk to. We cannot leave this review without mentioning our primary contact, Colleen's paralegal, CharSalle Charles (Charli). Without Charli, I don't think we would have made it through the adoption. Charli was there anytime we called to answer our questions and to provide support for us. Charli even came to the hospital the day after our daughter was born, to handle all the paperwork between us and the birth mother. We truly thank Locke and Quinn and especially Charli for their hard work and support. Our adoption was even finalized a month in advance of the initial date set forth. We highly recommend Locke and Quinn to any looking to adopt!!!
Tierre Christmas
Tierre Christmas
Cathy Tyree Herb
Cathy Tyree Herb
Colleen and the team at Locke & Quinn was very helpful guiding us through our adoption with minimal issues - would recommend based on their knowledge and experience.
Chris _
Chris _
Colleen is an excellent attorney. She fights for her clients and takes care of them every step of the way.
Kim Miller
Kim Miller

 

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