Prenuptial & Premarital Agrements

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, which is commonly referred to as a “prenup” or a “premarital agreement,” is a contract that two people enter into, before marriage, which establishes their respective rights in regards to property acquired both before and during the marriage, and can also address what is to happen in the event of a divorce.  Parties can establish their financial responsibilities during their marriage, as well as determine how to divide assets and debts and create terms for spousal support in the event of a divorce or death.

Do I need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Do not make assumptions that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous. A prenuptial agreement can also do more than just protect the wealthy.  These agreements are being used more frequently by anyone who has assets, income, or children from a previous relationship or other family members they would like to protect in the event of death or divorce. It is also not out of place for business partners to insist on prenuptial agreements to protect a business in the event of a divorce or death.   

Can I still enter into a Prenuptial Agreement if I’m already married?

While you cannot sign a prenuptial agreement after marriage, you can enter into a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement, while it provides many of the same benefits as a prenuptial agreement, cannot set any limits or otherwise decide the issue of spousal support. 

A Postnuptial agreement can be entered into for the same reasons as a prenuptial agreement or for different reasons. Couples who are either reconciling or considering separation from a strained relationship should consider a postnuptial agreement to determine issues related to their property and finances.  If you already have a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can be used to revise various provisions of the prenuptial agreement, or even to provide a generous gift to a spouse that would otherwise be considered marital property. They are also used for estate planning purposes.

If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important that you seek an experienced attorney to assist you throughout the entire process. It is critical that both agreements are drafted and signed in accordance with North Carolina law so that they are not later declared invalid. There are various defenses a party may attempt to use to attack the validity of the agreement, which makes it critical to have a skilled attorney to avoid these issues.

Our experienced family law attorneys can assist you in all your needs regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, including drafting, reviewing and consulting on agreements, enforcing provisions of an agreement, and determining the validity of an already executed agreement. Contact us to discuss your options and to protect your rights.

Our divorce team includes Board Certified Specialists in Family Law, specially trained Collaborative Divorce Professionals and an expert in adoption in North Carolina.  Whether you believe that your situation is simple or complex, no divorce is easy. An experienced attorney can assist you in understanding the long-term impact your decisions may have. Collectively, our team brings a century of legal experience to your family law matter. Call our family law team at 336-379-1390 to schedule your consultation today.

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