At Keith Metz Law, as a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, we deal with a lot of questions about Prenuptials and Postnuptials. A lot of people wonder if either of these are right for their marriages and what could happen. To dispel those worries, we’ve made this handy guide to help future couples dealing with this.
Getting a Pre-Nuptial
While it can be an awkward conversation to have with your intended spouse, it is important to address how assets would be divided in the event of a divorce or death. It’s simply smart financial planning.
Essentially, a premarital agreement is a contract put in place before the marriage that establishes in writing what the couple has agreed to.
It’s easy to think this kind of agreement is only for the super wealthy, but they are becoming more common for couples of all income brackets. They are useful in particular for couples marrying for a second time and want to preserve assets for children from a previous marriage. If this is the case, you may also want to consider a premarital agreement to protect your premarital assets like:
- Your home
- Retirement funds
- If you have an ownership interest in a business
- If you might be receiving an inheritance in the future.
Of course, if you’re thinking about a premarital agreement, you should seek legal advice from a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC that can protect your interests. Having a professional on your side to draw up your contract will make sure that it is legally sound and it covers all aspects of your current and future financial package.
Going For a Post-Nuptial
Chances are, you probably haven’t heard of postnuptial agreements. They may be lesser known contracts, but they can address many of the same issues as a premarital agreement. The distinction here is that they are signed after the couple is married. This can be used for married persons to release, quitclaim or otherwise dispose of rights in which they otherwise would be entitled.
In some cases, these agreements are used when spouses separate with the intent to reconcile. However, according to the North Carolina General Assembly, postnuptial agreements
“do not incite divorce nor separation, but instead can promote marital stability by defining the expectations and responsibilities of the parties.”
Postnuptial agreements may not waive or release spousal support rights, except when the agreement is signed during a period of separation when the spouses are contemplating reconciliation. It’s important to be noted that to be valid in North Carolina:
- A postnuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties
- The agreement must be notarized
- It must not contain any provisions that may be contradictory to public policy.
What Should You Do Now?
If you’re thinking about getting a prenuptial or postnuptial for your marriage, you should definitely contact a family law attorney that represents your best interests. Keith Metz is a Charlotte, NC based attorney specializing in family law, criminal defense and traffic law whose office serves the areas of Charlotte, Cabarrus County, Gaston County & Union County in North Carolina. Contact me today for an advising session to find out how the Metz Law Firm has your back.