A prenuptial agreement is a document that has the signatures of both parties who intend to enter into marriage. It outlines the responsibilities, rights, and certain property of each party in the event of a divorce in the future. The basic purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to determine how assets or property should be divided if the couple gets divorced or if one of the parties dies during the marriage. It can also waive alimony and support. A properly executed and well-written prenuptial agreement provides protection and comfort for both spouses.
According to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act of North Carolina, a prenuptial agreement may contain limited alimony rights, property rights and a variety of other rights. Many couples also provide stipulations about their future children as well as future remarriage for the purpose of protecting the rights of future children. At Chapter 52B of the N.C. General Statutes, for a premarital agreement to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties of the marrying couple.
For a prenuptial agreement to hold up in court, be sure to follow these tips:
1. Disclose all of your finances. If your spouse finds out that you’re hiding assets, the prenuptial agreement could get tossed out by the court.
2. Avoid coercion, distress and undue influence. Plan ahead and sign the agreement at least 30 days prior to the wedding.
3. Be fair and deal fairly with your soon-to-be spouse in determining the amount of support he or she will receive if the marriage ends or if you should die during the marriage.
4. Don’t combine assets after the marriage. This makes it very difficult to determine your property before the marriage.
5. You may need a postnuptial agreement to protect some types of retirement plans. Ask your attorney if further agreements will need to be made in the future and discuss those with your fiancé in advance.
Without the legal assistance of an experience NC family law attorney, it’s easy to make a mistake in making a prenuptial agreement which can render the document void. It’s best to have a good NC family lawyer review the agreement and to explain the implications of each statement in the document. This is to ensure that the prenuptial agreement is legally binding. Contact McIlveen Family Law Firm for a consultation regard your prenuptial agreement.