Not Just For The Wealthy: Creating A Prenuptial Agreement

Luke Baker P.A. offers his advice on NC DWI Law - To Blow or Not to Blow?

The idea that only the affluent execute prenuptial--or premarital--agreements prior to marriage to protect their assets is a misconception. Many valid reasons exist for creating a prenuptial agreement, not the least of which is that if, unfortunately, a divorce is to occur, complications regarding the divvying up of property will be mitigated by the existence of the agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people preparing to marry that, if valid, a judge will use in a divorce action to help determine the division of property and amount of any alimony, or spousal support.

In a prenuptial agreement, you can:

  • Define which property is to be considered separate;
  • Define the amount of alimony (spousal support) to be given in the event of a separation or divorce (possible future child support cannot be determined in a prenuptial agreement);
  • Divide up household chores;
  • Set forth procedures for payment of joint expenses and any debt;
  • Establish how the marital property will be paid and titled; and
  • Specify how the property should be divided upon separation, divorce, or death

In North Carolina, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, Chapter 52B of the North Carolina General Statutes, governs prenuptial agreements. The prenuptial agreement must be signed by both parties; verbal agreements are not valid in North Carolina. The agreement becomes effective the day you are married. It is best that each side is represented by his or her own attorney, and that both parties' attorneys review the agreement prior to execution. To avoid possible future arguments later that the agreement was only signed under pressure, coercion, or duress, sign it at least thirty days' prior to the marriage date and try to ensure that it is equitable for both parties. After marriage, any revocation or amendment of the prenuptial must be in writing and signed by both parties.

The creation of a prenuptial agreement can be both a sensitive and complex responsibility. If you would like to speak with an experienced family law attorney about a prenuptial agreement, please call our Concord, NC office Today.


Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (North Carolina General Assembly)

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered or substituted as legal advice.