Prenuptial agreements are used to determine in advance how property will be divided in the event your marriage does not work out. A postnuptial agreement is a similar agreement that is drafted after you are married. As long as these agreements are properly drafted, they are respected by North Carolina courts.
At Kennedy Law Associates in Charlotte, North Carolina, our lawyers draft premarital and postmarital agreements. We also advise people who are asked to sign one of these agreements.
When Do I Need a Premarital Agreement?
As people get married later in life, premarital agreements often make sense not only in second (and third) marriages, but also in first marriages. There are several situations where a prenuptial agreement can protect you financially:
- If you are bringing significant assets into the marriage
- If you are a high-wage earner and do not want your income to be marital property
- You have family assets, such as a vacation home or business, you want to protect
- If you have children from a prior marriage and you want to protect their financial interests
While separate property does not have to be divided under North Carolina’s equitable distribution laws, there are gray areas that result in future litigation and stress if you and your spouse do not have an agreement in place.
To be valid under North Carolina law, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement cannot be signed under duress. You must provide full disclosure of your assets, and your spouse should be represented by his or her own family law attorney.