Premarital Agreements

Congratulations!  At Schooley Law Firm, we love a good wedding.  Save us a piece of cake.  In the meantime, here are a few things you might want to come to an agreement about before saying “I do” in order to give your marriage its best chance at success.


Virginia has default rules about what property is considered separate property (that is, owned by a single spouse) and what is considered marital property (which both spouses have a right to when the marriage ends in death or divorce).  Clients often approach us seeking to change the way those rules operate, whether to provide for children from a previous marriage or to keep inherited assets within the family’s bloodline.  This is where your premarital agreement comes in.  We can address your assets as specifically and in whatever manner you and your spouse agree is appropriate to ensure that you start your lives together on the same page.


Spouses have certain automatic rights under Virginia and federal law, some of which depend on how long the marriage has lasted.  It is important that you both understand these rights and make a plan that works for you about which rights to waive or preserve.  You may also wish to create certain obligations of each spouse in the event the marriage ends – for example, whether to file an estate tax return to “port” a deceased spouse’s unused exemption or make certain disclosures to the executor of a deceased spouse in order to assist in administration of the estate.  We can help you talk through these issues and take away the potential anxiety caused by leaving them unresolved.