Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are similar to premarital agreements, except these agreements are signed after the marriage of the parties. However, similar content to that in premarital agreements can be agreed upon and contained within a postnuptial agreement.

North Carolina general statute, specifically N.C.G.S. §52-10, states that contracts, such as postnuptial agreements, between a husband and wife are valid and not inconsistent with public policy. The general concept behind them being that married persons may release, quitclaim, or otherwise dispose to rights in which they otherwise would be entitled. In fact, the North Carolina General Assembly has stated that such agreements “do not incite divorce nor separation, but instead can promote marital stability by defining the expectations and responsibilities of the parties.”

Among numerous elements, the three vital essentials of a postnuptial agreement in North Carolina are:

  1. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties to the agreement;
  2. The agreement must be notarized; and
  3. The agreement must not contain any provisions that may be contradictory to public policy.

A scenario where this may come into the equation would be if a party receives a huge promotion, causing a significant increase in income. Business ventures or large gifts also come to mind—these are the types of things often covered in such a postnuptial agreement.

When contemplating executing a postnuptial agreement, there must be full disclosure by the parties as to financial situations, and the agreeable terms to each party.

At Rech Law, P.C. we can help you through this process and help you understand if a postnuptial agreement is right for your circumstance, as well as explain how this plays into the overall picture of equitable distribution in North Carolina.