A marital agreement is a contract between two persons who plan to marry or are already married. Most people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, which is a contract between two people who are planning to get married. North Carolina law also recognizes the validity of a postnuptial agreement, which is a contract between two spouses who are already married. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements generally address how issues, such as the division of property or the payment of alimony, will be handled in the event the couple divorces, or if one of the spouses dies.
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Marital agreements are not just for the very wealthy. In fact, any couple can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Deciding difficult issues regarding property and support at the outset, lets both spouses have an honest discussion in a relaxed atmosphere, and not in the midst of a heated divorce. Couples can even agree, in a marital agreement, to the form of resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. By deciding these matters now, couples can enter into marriage without anxiety about the future, and avoid a potentially costly and emotional court battle down the road. A prenuptial agreement helps both spouses feel that they will be taken care of and not taken advantage of, in the event of death or divorce.
Prenuptial agreements may be especially helpful when the marriage is a second marriage for a spouse who went through a difficult divorce and wishes to avoid a repeat of that ordeal. Also, a spouse may have children from a first marriage, who need to be considered and not cut out of any future estate planning. Other reasons why people choose prenuptial agreements include situations where one spouse is part owner of a business or has other premarital assets that need to be protected, or who may be in line to someday receive a large inheritance.
In order to be valid, a prenuptial agreement in North Carolina must be in writing and signed by both parties. A prenuptial agreement can address a wide range of subjects, including the division of property, the right to spousal support (or elimination of alimony), the making of a will, and rights regarding a life insurance policy. A prenuptial agreement cannot adversely affect the right to receive child support, and an agreement that eliminates alimony may not necessarily be enforced, if the dependent spouse would wind up on public assistance without support.
A prenuptial agreement will not be enforced, if a party can prove that he or she did not enter into the agreement voluntarily, or if the agreement was unconscionable at the time it was created, and the party signed the agreement without knowledge of or a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party’s assets and financial obligations, unless the party voluntarily and expressly waived the right to receive such a disclosure in writing.
If you are considering a premarital agreement, seek legal advice from a family law attorney. Having a family law professional draw up your contract will ensure that it is legally sound and covers all aspects of your current and future financial picture.Contact Our Charlotte Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys Today
Consult with a North Carolina prenuptial agreements attorney at Powers Law Firm PA to determine whether a prenuptial agreement would benefit you. Contact the Charlotte prenuptial agreements attorney at Powers Law Firm PA immediately! Call us today at 704-342-4357.