Marital Agreements in North Carolina
One of the most important, yet difficult, conversations you can have before and during a marriage involves your financial future. A lot of couples have become more accepting of the idea of marital agreements including prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
If you’re getting married, or are already married, maybe you’re wondering if getting an agreement is the right choice for you and your partner. Couples make agreements like this for many different reasons, and agreements aren’t only made between wealthy couples.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup or premarital agreement, is an agreement in the form of a contract that an engaged couple can sign before getting married. Prenuptial agreements are only valid if both parties agree to the terms and sign. An agreement doesn’t go into effect until after you and your finacé are legally married.
Couples sometimes tend to avoid discussing the details of a premarital agreement because of the context and how emotional the conversation can be. But lately, as both men and women make more money, couples are more open to talking about securing their assets and property in the future.
There are several issues that can be outlined and included in a prenuptial agreement:
1. Rights to control the property.
2. Rights to manage the property.
3. Spousal support in a divorce.
4. Distribution of property if your spouse passes away.
5. Ownership of death benefits from life insurance.
6. Any issue you want to simplify in the event of a divorce.
Planning for the future doesn’t only benefit one partner in the relationship when you’re getting married.
Who Should Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
You should get a prenuptial agreement if you want to:
Spend less time negotiating assets like your home, car, or retirement.
Protect your assets before you get married.
Protect your rights to certain assets in a divorce like spousal support.
Lower chances of future conflict because you already have an agreement.
Make an agreement that benefits your children in the future.
Prenuptial agreements can be made for any reason and can contain virtually any set of rules as long as they’re legal and do not break the law.
If you missed out on the opportunity to make a prenuptial agreement, you still have the opportunity to protect your future using a postnuptial agreement.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements aren’t as popular of a subject matter as prenuptial agreements are. A postnuptial agreement is a contract made between a couple who is already married and would like to address and agree on what would happen to their assets in the future after a divorce. This agreement can be used to agree to how your property and assets are divided so that they’re not subject to equitable distribution.
These types of agreements can address the same issues as premarital agreements like:
What should happen to assets and debts during a divorce.
Assets that will remain separate or marital assets.
Life insurance benefits if there’s a divorce.
Anything that is legal and you and your spouse agree.
While postnuptial agreements can be used to make agreements for most financial liabilities, they can’t be used to force you to waive your rights to spousal support or child support during a separation period.
Who Should Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
Any couple who is already married and can’t agree on certain issues, but want to come to an agreement can use a postnuptial agreement. You may want to make an agreement if your spouse’s financial situation changes frequently or significantly.
You may also want an agreement if you and your spouse don’t already have a prenuptial agreement in place. Postnuptial agreements are sometimes used to address financial issues as a result of infidelity.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are easy to make if you have an experienced family law attorney.
Rely on Rech Law to Help You Make an Agreement
Marital agreements may sound scary, but they’re the exact opposite! They’re a reasonable way to resolve issues that you and your spouse may otherwise have not been able to resolve. Our attorneys at Rech Law, P.C. have worked with couples to peacefully talk through their issues and protect their futures.
Reach us today at (704) 659-0007 to schedule a consultation!