When a North Carolina couple is planning to get married, it is generally recommended that they get a prenuptial agreement, especially if they are bringing substantial assets into the union. Not only will the prenuptial agreement allow the couple to have control over their finances in the event of a divorce, but it cam also protect them should one spouse pass away or become involved in a serious accident.
The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to protect the both separate assets and marital assets and how those assets should be allocated during a divorce. For example, a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that the business one party created prior to becoming married will still belong to that party. If the couple purchases a home together or obtains other assets together, the prenuptial agreement can have certain provisions that may indicate how they would want those properties to be divided.
These agreements can also evolve as the couple’s circumstances change. Some couples add a sunset provision which causes the prenuptial agreement to begin invalid after a certain amount of time or if a child is born. Others make changes to their prenuptial agreement as their financial situation evolves.
While courts will normally take into account the provisions of a prenuptial agreement when making decisions during the property division property division stage of subsequent divorce proceedings, this is not always the case. These agreements are subject to contract laws, and thus a court might refuse to uphold one if it is found that one party was forced to sign it under duress. Accordingly, family law attorneys will advise their clients who are considering one to make sure that it is entered into well in advance of the wedding date.