When you hear “prenuptial agreement,” you might think of celebrity marriages or wealthy couples. However, these agreements are increasingly commonplace and can offer benefits for couples of all backgrounds, especially in North Carolina. Whether you’re entering your first marriage or blending families, a prenuptial agreement can provide a level of protection and peace of mind.
Prenuptial agreements, also known as “prenups” or “premarital agreements,” are legal documents created before marriage that outline how assets and debts would be divided in the event of a divorce. Contrary to some beliefs, these agreements aren’t about predicting failure but about providing clarity and fairness should the unexpected occur.
For first-time married couples, a prenuptial agreement can protect each party’s financial independence. It specifies what is considered marital property (which is typically split during a divorce) and what remains separate. It can protect an inheritance or a family-owned business, ensuring that these assets remain with the original owner.
For blended families, a prenuptial agreement can also play a vital role. It can ensure that children from previous relationships inherit specific assets or family heirlooms. It can also protect the spouse from being financially responsible for the debts that the other partner may bring into the marriage.
In North Carolina, prenuptial agreements are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It’s essential that both parties fully disclose their assets and debts. The agreement can’t impose anything illegal, and it can’t set terms for child support or child custody.
When drafting a prenuptial agreement, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who understands North Carolina laws. This will ensure that the agreement is enforceable and will stand up in court if it’s ever needed.
At Shane Kennedy Law, we understand that talking about a prenuptial agreement can be sensitive. However, we see it as a practical step in preparing for a shared life journey. We’re here to navigate the process with you, offering personal, warm, and supportive counsel every step of the way.
Remember, a prenuptial agreement is not planning for a marriage to fail but preparing for a marriage to succeed. Feel free to reach out to us, and let’s discuss how we can best protect your assets and your future together.