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About prenuptial agreements

North Carolina couples who plan to get married may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. This is a contract that covers certain financial aspects should the marriage come to an end. Prenups are not solely for couples who have unequal financial standings or for those who have substantial wealth. They are also for couples who want to be open with one another about their finances before they get married.

Prenups are considered beneficial for several reasons. They allow financial assets intended for the children of a previous marriage to be protected. Business and personal assets that were obtained before the marriage can be protected. It allows a party to clearly detail which assets are to be allocated to children or other family members if he or she dies. Prenuptial agreements also prevent conflicts concerning finances and assets in the event of a divorce.

While there are advantages to having a prenuptial agreement, couples may subconsciously decide to forgo one because it may give the impression that there is a trust issue within the relationship.  In the past, prenuptial agreements were stigmatized in this way. However, it is now widely accepted that a prenup is a legal tool utilized by even the most devoted of couples. By drafting this kind of contract, couples are compelled to work through numerous issues and as such, the very drafting process can both strengthen a relationship and result in greater peace of mind.

Couples should begin discussing a prenuptial agreement early in their relationship. It is also important that each party have separate legal representation and that the contract is signed well in advance of the wedding day in order to avoid a subsequent argument that one of the parties was forced to sign it under duress.

Property division is often one of the more challenging divorce legal issues, but a properly drafted prenuptial agreement can make this aspect easier. Attorneys will remind their clients, however, that there are certain subjects that these agreements can not cover as a matter of public policy, such as child custody and support.