Negotiating and Drafting Marital Agreements

Negotiating and Drafting Marital Agreements
Publication Date: March 2016
Electronic Forms: 101
Available Formats: Print (729 pages, softcover, 1 volume)
  Electronic (searchable PDF via flash drive, CD, or immediate download)
  Both Print and Electronic formats
Product #: 859

Information

Content Highlights:
  • The Marital Agreement: Tactics, Strategy, and Ethics
  • Nonmarital, Premarital, and Reconciliation Agreements
  • Support and Property
  • Provisions in Separation and Support Agreements
  • Custody and Visitation Agreements and Arrangements
  • Standard Provisions
  • Income Tax Planning Considerations in Divorce and Separation

“The only Virginia practice manual devoted to the law and practice of drafting marital agreements, this comprehensive book includes detailed discussion of the statutory and case law which underlie the wording of the agreement clauses. Thus, the practitioner is armed not only with the legal and practical reasons for the chosen language, but the tools to defend their choice of wording.”

- Richard E. Crouch, editor

Separation agreements are a significant and vital part of every divorce lawyer’s practice. Negotiating and Drafting Marital Agreements provides sample clauses and over 100 forms for creating a marital agreement that is tailored to the needs of both clients while meeting the requirements of Virginia’s statutory scheme. Prepared by experienced practitioners, the forms include alternative language that may suggest creative solutions to the most difficult dilemmas that can arise when couples separate.

Revisions in this 2016 edition take into consideration the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, recognizing same-sex marriages. The revisions also reflect proposed changes to the visitation language in the Virginia statutes that are being studied by the VBA for the 2017 legislative session.


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Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. The Marital Agreement: Tactics, Strategy, And Ethics

2. Nonmarital, Premarital And Reconciliation Agreements

3. Support And Property Provisions In Separation And Support Agreements

4. Custody Agreements And Parenting Arrangements

5. Standard Provisions In Marital Agreements

6. Income Tax–Planning In Divorce And Separation


CHAPTER 1: THE MARITAL AGREEMENT: TACTICS, STRATEGY,
AND ETHICS

1.1 THE MARITAL AGREEMENT GENERALLY
    1.101 Advantages
    1.102 Caveats
    
1.2 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
    1.201 In General
    1.202 The Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct
    1.203 Communication with the Client
    1.204 Client Confidences
    1.205 Conflicts of Interest Generally
    1.206 Identifying the Client
    1.207 Subsequent Representation
    1.208 Fees
    1.209 Representing an Impaired Client
    1.210 Misconduct

1.3 EVALUATING THE CLIENT’S POSITION
    1.301 Information to Be Obtained from the Client
    1.302 Information to Be Provided to the Client
    1.303 Maintaining Communication with the Client
    1.304 Controlling the Client

1.4 ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
    1.401 Client Activities
    1.402 Emotional Concerns
    1.403 Other Considerations

1.5 THE ESSENCE OF NEGOTIATION
    1.501 “Negotiation” Defined
    1.502 Elements of Negotiation
    1.503 Negotiating Styles and Techniques
    1.504 Creativity
    1.505 Reasonable Demands and Ultimatums
    1.506 Compromise
    1.507 Ranking the Client’s Priorities
    1.508 Conduct Conducive to Settlement
    1.509 Readiness for Trial
    1.510 Summary

1.6 STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
    1.601 Initial Contact with the Opposition
    1.602 Nature of Contact
    1.603 Additional Tactics to Break an Impasse or Gain
    Leverage

APPENDIX 1-1: MARITAL AGREEMENT CHECKLIST

APPENDIX 1-2: CLIENT INTERVIEW

APPENDIX 1-3: CLIENT FACT SHEET

APPENDIX 1-4: CHECKLIST OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
TO BE FURNISHED IF APPLICABLE

APPENDIX 1-5: SCHEDULE OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

APPENDIX 1-6: MASTER INFORMATION LIST

APPENDIX 1-7: INCOME/EXPENSE EXHIBIT

APPENDIX 1-8: CHILD-REARING EXPENSES CHECKLIST

APPENDIX 1-9: CUSTODY GUIDELINES

APPENDIX 1-10: INFORMATION AND FEE AGREEMENT FOR
DOMESTIC RELATIONS MATTERS

APPENDIX 1-11: CHECKLIST ON BUSINESS VALUATIONS

APPENDIX 1-12: INTEREST IN A CLOSELY HELD
CORPORATION

APPENDIX 1-13: OWNERSHIP IN A CASH BUSINESS

APPENDIX 1-14: CONTRACT FOR MEDIATION

APPENDIX 1-15: MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING—
SAMPLE PARAGRAPHS

APPENDIX 1-16: MOTION TO APPOINT JUDGE PRO TEMPORE

APPENDIX 1-17: STIPULATION TO APPOINT JUDGE PRO
TEMPORE

APPENDIX 1-18: ORDER APPROVING APPOINTMENT OF
JUDGE PRO TEMPORE

APPENDIX 1-19: SUMMARY CHECKLIST OF PRACTICAL
CONSIDERATIONS BEARING ON THE
NEGOTIATION/LITIGATION PROCESS

APPENDIX 1-20: ADDENDUM FOR PROTECTED IDENTIFYING
INFORMATION—CONFIDENTIAL

CHAPTER 2: NONMARITAL, PREMARITAL, AND
RECONCILIATION AGREEMENTS


2.1 NONMARITAL AGREEMENTS
    2.101 In General
    2.102 Theories of Recovery
    2.103 Express Contract Theory
    2.104 Cohabitant Claims in Virginia
    2.105 Written Agreements Between Cohabitants

2.2 PREMARITAL AGREEMENTS
    2.201 The Virginia Premarital Agreement Act
    2.202 Case Law Under the Premarital Agreement Act
    2.203 Reasons for Premarital Agreements
    2.204 Consideration
    2.205 Requisites for Validity
    2.206 Attacks on Validity
    2.207 Void Marriages
    2.208 Contents of Agreement
    2.209 Drafting Considerations
    2.210 Marital Agreements

2.3 RECONCILIATION AGREEMENTS

APPENDIX 2-1: PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

APPENDIX 2-2: PREMARITAL AGREEMENT

APPENDIX 2-3: SAMPLE NONABROGATION PARAGRAPH FOR
MARITAL AGREEMENT

APPENDIX 2-4: RECONCILIATION AGREEMENT

APPENDIX 2-5: PREMARITAL AGREEMENT—SHORT FORM

CHAPTER 3: SUPPORT AND PROPERTY PROVISIONS IN
SEPARATION AND SUPPORT AGREEMENTS


3.1 SUPPORT AND PROPERTY PROVISIONS GENERALLY
    3.101 Preparation
    3.102 Tax Considerations
    3.103 Practical Aspects
    3.104 Undisclosed Assets
    3.105 Nonincluded Assets
    3.106 Merger Versus Nonmerger
    3.107 Effect of Reconciliation
    3.108 Marital or Reconciliation Agreements

3.2 CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS
    3.201 In General
    3.202 Modification by Court
    3.203 Temporary Provisions
    3.204 Amount of Child Support
    3.205 Duration of Child Support
    3.206 Modification
    3.207 Waivers, Indemnification, or Prepayment
    3.208 Enforcement
    3.209 Use of Funds and Accountability
    3.210 Dependency Tax Exemption
    3.211 College Education
    3.212 Bankruptcy
    3.213 Trust Funds
    3.214 Child Health Insurance Coverage

3.3 SPOUSAL SUPPORT PROVISIONS
    3.301 In General
    3.302 Special Considerations
    3.303 Temporary Provisions
    3.304 Waivers
    3.305 Fault Grounds
    3.306 Amount of Support
    3.307 Duration of Support
    3.308 Modification
    3.309 Enforcement
    3.310 Cohabitation

3.4 UNITARY SUPPORT PROVISIONS
    3.401 In General
    3.402 Modification

3.5 OTHER SUPPORT CONSIDERATIONS
    3.501 Liability of the Payor’s Estate
    3.502 Automatic Modification Provisions
    (“Escalator Clauses”)
    3.503 Medical and Dental Expenses
    3.504 Disability Benefits Policy
    3.505 Joint Income Tax Returns
    3.506 Attorney Fees for Enforcement
    3.507 Emergency Funds
    3.508 Debts

3.6 PERSONAL AND REAL PROPERTY GENERALLY
    3.601 Judicial Authority
    3.602 Taxes
    3.603 Enforcement

3.7 REAL PROPERTY
    3.701 In General
    3.702 Transfer to One Owner
    3.703 Sale of Property
    3.704 Entireties Property
    3.705 Marital Residence

3.8 PERSONAL PROPERTY
    3.801 In General
    3.802 Division of Property
    3.803 Specific Personal Property
    3.804 Motor Vehicles
    3.805 Deferred Compensation (Pension, Profit-Sharing,
    and Retirement Benefits)
    3.806 Partnerships
    3.807 Corporations
    3.808 Loans
    3.809 Trusts

3.9 LIFE INSURANCE
    3.901 In General
    3.902 Where No Protection Is Needed
    3.903 Where Protection Is Needed for a Support Recipient
    3.904 The Policy Itself
    3.905 Transfer of Ownership to the Beneficiary
    3.906 Death Benefits
    3.907 Beneficiary Designation Revoked by Divorce

APPENDIX 3-1: PROVISION ALLOWING FOR LATER INSERTION
OF OMITTED LANGUAGE

APPENDIX 3-2: UNDISCLOSED/NOT INCLUDED ASSETS

APPENDIX 3-3: EFFECT OF RECONCILIATION

APPENDIX 3-4: TEMPORARY CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-5: REGULAR CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS—
INFORMATION AND GENERALLY

APPENDIX 3-6: REGULAR CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS—
APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES

APPENDIX 3-7: REGULAR CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS—
FINANCES OF THE PARTIES

APPENDIX 3-8: REGULAR CHILD SUPPORT PROVISIONS—
AMOUNT AND DURATION

APPENDIX 3-9: CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEETS

APPENDIX 3-10: EMANCIPATION EVENT

APPENDIX 3-11: MODIFICATION PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-12: DEPENDENCY EXEMPTION PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-13: EDUCATION PAYMENT PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-14: EDUCATIONAL TRUST FUND PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-15: MEDICAL AND DENTAL PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-16: WAIVERS AND RESERVATIONS

APPENDIX 3-17: LUMP SUM SPOUSAL SUPPORT PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-18: LUMP SUM SPOUSAL SUPPORT PAYABLE
MONTHLY

APPENDIX 3-19: LUMP SUM PAYABLE PARTLY UPON
EXECUTION AND BALANCE MONTHLY

APPENDIX 3-20: MONTHLY FIXED SPOUSAL SUPPORT

APPENDIX 3-21: MONTHLY VARIABLE SPOUSAL SUPPORT
FOR A NON-FIXED TERM

APPENDIX 3-22: MONTHLY FIXED LEVEL SPOUSAL SUPPORT
FOR FIXED TERM (OF MORE THAN THREE YEARS)

APPENDIX 3-23: MONTHLY FIXED LEVEL SPOUSAL SUPPORT
FOR TERM OF THREE YEARS OR LESS

APPENDIX 3-24: SPOUSAL SUPPORT FOR THREE-YEAR
PERIOD—PARTIAL NONMODIFIABILITY

APPENDIX 3-25: MONTHLY STAGGERED SPOUSAL SUPPORT
FOR FIXED TERM (OF MORE THAN THREE YEARS)

APPENDIX 3-26: TAX CONSEQUENCES

APPENDIX 3-27: REINSTATEMENT ALIMONY

APPENDIX 3-28: OBLIGATION OF ESTATE

APPENDIX 3-29: SPOUSAL SUPPORT MODIFICATION
PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-30: COHABITATION

APPENDIX 3-31: OTHER SUPPORT CONSIDERATIONS—
DISABILITY

APPENDIX 3-32: OTHER SUPPORT CONSIDERATIONS—
TAX RETURNS

APPENDIX 3-33: COUNSEL FEES

APPENDIX 3-34: EMERGENCY FUND

APPENDIX 3-35: DEBTS

APPENDIX 3-36: SPOUSAL SUPPORT IN LIEU OF PROPERTY

APPENDIX 3-37: TAX EFFECTS OF PROPERTY TRANSFERS

APPENDIX 3-38: REAL PROPERTY PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-39: PERSONAL PROPERTY PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 3-40: MOTOR VEHICLES

APPENDIX 3-41: DEFERRED COMPENSATION

APPENDIX 3-42: PARTNERSHIPS, CORPORATIONS, BUSINESS
INTERESTS, LOANS, AND TRUSTS

APPENDIX 3-43: LIFE INSURANCE

CHAPTER 4: CUSTODY AGREEMENTS AND PARENTING
ARRANGEMENTS

4.1 INTRODUCTION
    4.101 Reasons for Negotiation
    4.102 Definitions of Custodial Arrangements
    4.103 Advising Clients of the Distinctions Between Terms

4.2 JOINT CUSTODY
    4.201 In General
    4.202 Joint Custody/Parenting Arrangements
    4.203 Benefits of Joint Custody
    4.204 Disadvantages of Joint Custody
    4.205 Considering and Preparing for Joint Custody

4.3 JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY
    4.301 Joint Custody with “Physical Custody” to
    One Parent
    4.302 Joint Custody with “Primary Residence”
    4.303 Avoiding the Words “Custody” and “Visitation”
    Altogether
    4.304 Joint Custody with Residency Restrictions
    4.305 Joint Custody with Parenting Time Restrictions

4.4 SOLE CUSTODY WITH PARENTING TIME

4.5 FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN ANY CUSTODY AGREEMENT
    4.501 Parenting Time
    4.502 Embattled Parents
    4.503 Preferred Method
    4.504 Restrictions
    4.505 Advance Notice
    4.506 Grandparents’ and Others’ Third-Party Custody
    and Visitation Rights
    4.507 Travel Costs
    4.508 Relocation
    4.509 Withholding a Child from the Other Parent
    4.510 Failure to Agree
    4.511 Child’s Wishes
    4.512 Denigration and Alienation
    4.513 Communications and Information Sharing
    4.514 Reduced Support Payments
    4.515 Emergencies
    4.516 Alcohol or Drug Abuse
    4.517 Mental Health Concerns
    4.518 “Special Day” Clauses
    4.519 Access to Firearms
    4.520 Changes in Circumstances
    4.521 Provisions Allowing Mental Healthcare Professionals
    to Testify in Future Proceedings

4.6 USEFUL PUBLICATIONS

APPENDIX 4-1: SOLE CUSTODY

APPENDIX 4-2: SOLE CUSTODY; PARENTING TIME PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 4-3: SOLE CUSTODY; JOINT CUSTODY DURING
PARENTING TIME WITH PROVISION FOR PARENTING
TIME OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

APPENDIX 4-4: JOINT CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS

APPENDIX 4-5: SHARED CUSTODY

APPENDIX 4-6: SPLIT CUSTODY

APPENDIX 4-7: DIVIDED CUSTODY

APPENDIX 4-8: JOINT (LEGAL) CUSTODY WITH PRIMARY
RESIDENCE AND SPECIFIC SCHEDULE

APPENDIX 4-9: JOINT CUSTODY: SCHEDULE AND CHANGES
AS APPROPRIATE

APPENDIX 4-10: (“BIRDNEST”) JOINT CUSTODY

APPENDIX 4-11: JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY WITH PRIMARY
RESIDENCE

APPENDIX 4-12: JOINT CUSTODY DURING PARENTING TIME

APPENDIX 4-13: CHILDREN’S RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

APPENDIX 4-14: JOINT CUSTODY, LEGAL RESIDENCE WITH
ONE PARENT (CHILD’S BEST INTERESTS)

APPENDIX 4-15: PARENTING TIME PROVISIONS THAT AVOID
USE OF THE WORD “CUSTODY”

APPENDIX 4-16: RELOCATION PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 4-17: PARENTING TIME RESTRICTION (OTHER
PERSON)

APPENDIX 4-18: EXAMPLES OF PARENTING TIME SCHEDULES

APPENDIX 4-19: PARENTING TIME RESTRICTION (ALCOHOL)

APPENDIX 4-20: SAFETY AND MORAL RESTRICTIONS

APPENDIX 4-21: GRANDPARENTS’ VISITATION

APPENDIX 4-22: FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 4-23: CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES

APPENDIX 4-24: COOPERATIVE PARENTING

APPENDIX 4-25: FAMILY COMMUNICATION

APPENDIX 4-26: INFORMATION SHARING

APPENDIX 4-27: MEDICAL CARE

APPENDIX 4-28: PARENT COORDINATOR PROVISION

CHAPTER 5: STANDARD PROVISIONS IN MARITAL
AGREEMENTS


5.1 POST-NUPTIAL (MARITAL) AGREEMENTS GENERALLY
    5.101 In General
    5.102 The Comprehensive Agreement
    5.103 Relation to Contracts in General

5.2 INTRODUCTORY CLAUSES
    5.201 Preamble and Recitals
    5.202 “Personal Lives” or “Freedom to Live” Provision

5.3 COUNSEL, ENFORCEMENT, AND WAIVERS
    5.301 Representation by Counsel
    5.302 Validity of Agreement
    5.303 “Binding on Heirs and Assigns” Provision
    5.304 Attorney Fees
    5.305 Releases and Waivers

5.4 INCORPORATION, MERGER, AND OTHER
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
    5.401 Incorporation and Merger
    5.402 “Additional Instruments” Provision
    5.403 Modification
    5.404 Reconciliation
    5.405 Inducement to Agreement
    5.406 Interest
    5.407 Bankruptcy
    5.408 Other Provisions

APPENDIX 5-1: EXAMPLES OF STANDARD PROVISIONS USED
IN SEPARATION AGREEMENTS

APPENDIX 5-2: CONSENT ORDER

APPENDIX 5-3: SAMPLE SEPARATION AGREEMENT I

APPENDIX 5-4: SAMPLE SEPARATION AGREEMENT II

APPENDIX 5-5: PROVISION FOR WAIVER OF ESTATE RIGHTS

APPENDIX 5-6: CLAUSE TO TERMINATE A REVOCABLE TRUST

APPENDIX 5-7: SAMPLE ESTATE PLANNING PROVISIONS

APPENDIX 5-8: SAVING CLAUSE FOR BENEFIT WAIVER
PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 6: INCOME TAX PLANNING IN DIVORCE AND
SEPARATION


6.1 INTRODUCTION

6.2 ALIMONY
    6.201 Pre-1985 Rules
    6.202 Tax Reform Act of 1984
    6.203 Tax Reform Act of 1986
    6.204 Current Alimony Rules

6.3 CHILD SUPPORT
    6.301 Pre-1985 Rules
    6.302 Current Law
    6.303 Mixed Payments (Part Alimony, Part Child Support)

6.4 TRANSFERS OF PROPERTY BETWEEN SPOUSES AND
FORMER SPOUSES
    6.401 Pre-1985 Rules
    6.402 The Tax Reform Acts of 1984 and 1986
    6.403 Current Rules
    6.404 Transfer of Retirement Benefits
    6.405 Promissory Notes and Related Issues
    6.406 Miscellaneous Issues

6.5 DEPENDENCY EXEMPTION FOR CHILDREN
    6.501 Tax Reform Act of 1984
    6.502 Dependency Exemption Phaseout Rules

6.6 COLLATERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
RELATING TO CHILDREN
    6.601 Medical Expense Deduction
    6.602 Dependent Care Credit
    6.603 Child Tax Credit
    6.604 Earned Income Tax Credit
    6.605 Health Insurance Cost Credit
    6.606 Filing Status
    6.607 Deductibility of Legal Fees

6.7 ENTITLEMENT TO TAX REFUNDS
    6.701 In General
    6.702 Applicable Law

6.8 INNOCENT SPOUSE, SEPARATE LIABILITY, AND
EQUITABLE TAX RELIEF
    6.801 In General
    6.802 Innocent Spouse Rules—I.R.C. § 6015(b)
    6.803 Separate Tax Liability for Divorced and Separated
    Taxpayers—I.R.C. § 6015(c)
    6.804 Equitable Relief—I.R.C. § 6015(f)
    6.805 Making the Election

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

INDEX


Authors

Editor

Richard E. Crouch

Authors

Edward D. Barnes

Craig D. Bell

Dennis M. Hottell

David Horowitz

Melanie Hubbard

David D. Masterman

Margaret B. McNamara

Betsy Harwood Phillips

Bradley A. Ridlehoover

William C. Scott IV

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