When a couple in Virginia has been married for years or even decades, they will accumulate a lot of property. Some of this property is tangible, such as houses, automobiles, furniture and electronics. And, some of this property is intangible, such as retirement accounts, stocks and bank accounts. Some of a couple's assets will be highly valuable financially, but even assets that are not worth a great amount still may have a great deal of sentimental value.
Therefore, when a married couple decides to divorce, one issue they will face is property division. This can be a touchy and emotional subject. There may be assets that both spouses wish to retain due to their financial worth or sentimental value. Moreover, neither spouse wants to feel short-changed when it comes to property division. Sometimes a couple simply cannot see eye to eye on property division, and must turn to the court to issue a ruling on the matter. However, sometimes the spouses are able to negotiate a voluntary property settlement agreement on their own. That being said, certain requirements must be met for such an agreement to be legally enforceable.
A property settlement agreement is essentially a contract. It must be written, signed and sworn to by each spouse. It must also be notarized. It should set forth what rights and obligations the spouses have with regards to property division. It can also address other divorce legal issues, such as spousal maintenance, child custody and attorney's fees.
Courts encourage couples in Virginia to try to reach a property settlement agreement on their own. When a couple negotiates a property settlement agreement, they have more of a say in the divorce legal issues being addressed. Therefore, by executing a property settlement agreement that is fair and just, spouses may be more satisfied with the final outcome of their divorce.