How to Make a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement

In the midst of divorce or separation, a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) could help you and your former spouse save time and heartache by making some important decisions outside of the court room.

Divorce can be a long, tiring, and expensive process. A Virginia property settlement agreement is a document that can ease some of the burdens of traditional divorce proceedings.

Also called a separation agreement, a property settlement agreement is a contract between both you and your spouse that determines the rights and obligations of the parties after divorce.

In other words, a Virginia property settlement agreement helps divorcing couples decide how they are going to handle divorce related issues. This document serves to divide property, determine custody of any children, and determine spousal and child support.

Benefits of a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement

There are numerous benefits of creating a property settlement agreement. A property settlement agreement is much less expensive than long court battles. Property settlement agreements also can be a quicker way of handling divorce related issues. Further, when filing for no-fault and no-contest divorces, these are generally required to make the process go smoothly.

The divorce process can take several months, but with a property settlement agreement you can settle several issues as quick as the day after separating from your spouse.

Additionally, a property settlement agreement allows the spouses to make the decision about the division of property instead of a judge. Finally, property settlement agreements are more specific to the client and tailored to your individual needs.

What is the Legal Effect of a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement?

While the document does not have to be formal, a Virginia property settlement agreement has the full effect of a legal contract. The court will uphold the document unless the property settlement agreement was made under duress or by fraud. The property settlement agreement can also be invalidated when the terms are extremely one sided.

How Do I Make a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement?

A Virginia property settlement agreement does not have to be a formal document and can be created by both you and your spouse. However, there are certain key components that are important to include.

When creating your own property settlement agreement it is import for both you and your spouse to discuss several key issues.

Child Custody

Child custody disputes can be long, tiresome, and expensive. If you and your spouse have children, it can be extremely advantageous to resolve custody issues through the creation of a property settlement agreement.

Determining child custody includes making parenting arrangements. When making parenting arrangements it is important to consider which parent will be responsible for the children on a daily basis. In addition to a parenting schedule, it is beneficial to include any other visitation rights important to the parties.

Child Support

Once you and your spouse have determined which parent will have primary custody, it is import to discuss child support. Child support payments are usually made monthly by the noncustodial divorced parent. Monthly child support payments are determined by state statutory guidelines.

In Virginia, child support is determined by weighing the monthly gross income of a parent and the number of children you have.

In addition to monthly child support payments, it is beneficial to discuss with your spouse other child related expenses. This includes any work related child care, extracurricular activities, school expenses, medical expenses, and even college tuition.

Spousal Support

In addition to child support, the other major expense that needs to be discussed is spousal support. Spousal support, or alimony, are monthly payments made to support your former spouse. Like child support payments, alimony is determined through statutory guidelines. In Virginia, spousal support is determined using two different formulas:

Spousal Support Formulas

The payor is the spouse that makes monthly alimony payments, while the payee is the spouse that receives the monthly alimony payments.

If you and your spouse have minor children then spousal support is determined by subtracting 28% of the payor spouse’s monthly income from 58% of the payee spouse’s monthly income.

However, if you and your spouse have no minor children then alimony is determined by subtracting 30% of the payor spouse’s monthly income from 50% of the payee spouse’s monthly income.

Property Distribution

One of the key benefits of a Virginia property settlement agreement is that both spouses have the opportunity to decide how to divide your property.

When determining how you and your spouse plan to divide your property it is important to keep a detailed list. You and your spouse have the opportunity to decide how to divide your financial assets. Your financial assets can include real estate, savings accounts, cash, or any stocks or bonds.

Additionally, it is beneficial to divide any personal property you and your spouse may have. This can include items such as cars, jewelry, furniture, or any other personal items. Other important items to consider are any retirement accounts, life insurance policies, or any debt distribution.

Conclusion

Divorce can be a time consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining process. A property settlement agreement can be a beneficial tool for both you and your spouse by relieving some of the many stresses of divorce.

This legally binding contract has the ability to save you time, money, and many of the headaches of a traditional divorce.

While a property settlement agreement can be prepared without an attorney, hiring an experienced and competent attorney is recommended. Ultimately, having an experienced attorney by your side can best serve to protect the things most important to you.

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