Defining Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Tichenor Law

Defining Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
NOVA Estate Lawyers – Leesburg, Virginia

With a projected divorce rate at around 50%, many couples include prenuptial agreements in their marriage discussions. Others may suggest a postnuptial agreement during a marriage. Here, we define these agreements and share their similarities and differences.

Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial or premarital agreement (prenup) is a written contract entered into prior to marriage and containing provisions for property division and spousal support in the event of divorce or marriage breakup. They can also include asset forfeiture based upon specific terms or actions, such as adultery. But they do not regulate issues relating to children. To create a prenuptial agreement, and ensure it is enforceable, both parties should be represented by attorneys.

A prenup as recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia must contain the following elements:
1. It is in writing
2. It is executed voluntarily
3. Full and fair disclosure is made at time of execution
4. The agreement cannot be unconscionable (immoral or unprincipled)
5. It must be executed by both parties, not their attorneys, before a notary public

Building provisions into prenuptial agreements to address support for a longer-lasting marriage or acknowledge sacrifice of a career or advancement opportunity to raise children can also mean greater protection in the event of divorce.

Postnuptial Agreements
A postnuptial agreement (postnup) is a written contract executed after a couple is married to settle affairs and assets in the event of a divorce or separation. They have risen in popularity since the 1970s.

There are essentially three types of postnuptial agreements:
1. Assignation of marital property when one spouse dies
2. Separation agreements
3. Agreements that attempt to affect rights in a future divorce

Sometimes a postnuptial agreement is used to save a troubled marriage, or to set new boundaries for conduct while ensuring that if misconduct (typically infidelity) occurs, moving forward with the separation and divorce is a smoother process. Postnuptial agreements can be amended at a later date if and as needed.

Rich or Poor Benefit
It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor; everyone’s situation is fluid and changing. Poor newlyweds may build an entrepreneurial business or be funded by family in their housing or careers, while wealthier couples may need to protect their accumulated wealth and ensure the marriage is founded on love and not money. Creating clear terms for how each spouse will treat these assets can make the difference in preserving the efforts to build the business or the family’s investment in you.

Contact Your Attorney
At the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C., attorneys Patricia Tichenor and Camellia Safi specialize in family law and estate planning to assist families with family law issues. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

New Early-Detection Alzheimer’s Test May Enable Early Guardianship Decisions

Tichenor Law

Pre-Determine Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Estate Planning Needs
NOVA Estate Lawyers – Leesburg, Virginia

When we talk about guardianship and conservatorship issues, a lot of questions are raised as to what conditions constitute having to necessitate a guardianship or conservatorship. One of these is Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease
A form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that starts slowly and worsens over time. Its symptoms can include difficulty remembering short-term events, language problems, disorientation, mood swings, lack of self-care management or behavioral issues. Gradually, the person’s condition declines, leading to a withdrawal from family and society, and ultimately death.

Because the disease creates debilitating symptoms, family members may need to step in and take over with issues like daily care, medical treatments, and housing. Many times the responsibilities of guardianship and conservatorship are thrust upon an individual, leaving them with many questions and few answers.

New Tests May be Able to Detect Alzheimer’s Early
Although early detection wasn’t always possible in the past, modern medicine has developed a new test that could help predict the progression of Alzheimer’s in at-risk patients. Using saliva samples, researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada were able to detect specific bio-markers that indicated a link to possible cognitive degeneration. With refinement, this test could assist doctors worldwide to better predict a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Pre-Determine Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Estate Planning Needs
Knowing the risks of Alzheimer’s development can help families make calm and rational decisions in advance concerning guardianship, conservatorship, and care for the afflicted family member. Decisions that should include irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and other estate planning decisions.

Contact Your Attorney
At the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C., attorneys Patricia Tichenor and Camellia Safi specialize in family law and estate planning to assist families in drafting the documents that ensure the safekeeping of long-term care issues involved with Alzheimer’s patients. Don’t wait until the last minute to make these important decisions. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We can provide the answers you need.

The Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C.
Professional Legal Services or Legal Representation
(703) 669-6700


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