Virginia Prenuptial Agreement | Laws

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Updated January 24, 2023

A Virginia prenuptial agreement is a written contract designed to make the division of property easier during the divorce process. A prenup is created and executed before the marriage takes place and only becomes valid upon divorce or death of one of the spouses. The purpose is to alleviate any confusion or argument regarding ownership of the property and who will maintain control after a divorce.

The agreement details all the property currently held by the parties as well as what will happen to property accumulated during the marriage. In addition to property, the prenup can contain provisions on business interests, retirement assets, inheritances, and life insurance.

Signing Requirements (§ 20-149) – Both parties must sign; notary acknowledgment is recommended but legally required.


Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) – This act helps regulate premarital and marital agreements. It has been adopted by 28 states including Virginia.

Equitable Distribution

Laws§ 20-107.3

Like most other states, Virginia is not a “community property” state but an “equitable distribution” state. This means that if a premarital agreement was not executed and the divorcing couple cannot agree on the division of property, the courts will step in and attempt to divide the properly fairly between the two. “Equitable” does not mean an equal 50/50 split but a fair division based on a number of factors, such as income/liabilities, previous marriages, and length of marriage.