How to Make a Virginia Property Settlement Agreement

A Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) can help you and former spouse save time and heartache by making some important decisions outside of the court room.

Last updated on March 18th, 2019

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 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 any divorce-related issues. This document serves to divide property, determine custody of any children, and determine spousal and child support.

Benefits of Creating a Property Settlement Agreement

There are numerous benefits to creating a property settlement agreement.

First and foremost, a property settlement agreement is much less expensive than long court battles. Property settlement agreements are also a much quicker way of handling any 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.

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 property settlement agreement doesn’t have to be a formal document, and you and your spouse can create one on your own should you chose to.

However, there are certain key components that are important to include.

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 any and all custody issues in your property settlement agreement.

It’s important to consider which parent will be responsible for the children on a daily basis, as well as other relevant parenting issues such as visitation.

Child Support

Once you and your spouse have determined which parent will have primary custody, it’s important to discuss child support. Child support payments are usually made monthly by the noncustodial divorced parent.

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 (“Alimony”)

In addition to child support, another major expense that needs to be discussed is spousal support. Spousal support, or alimony, is a monthly payment one spouse makes to the other in order to help support their pre-divorce lifestyle.

Like child support payments, alimony is determined through statutory guidelines.

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 their property.

When determining how you and your spouse plan to divide your property, it is important to keep a detailed list of every asset you’re including in the agreement.

Additionally, it is beneficial to include 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.

Need an attorney?

Our articles provide general information about all of our practice areas. If you're looking for legal counsel specific to your situation, you'll need to talk to a lawyer.

Share This