Charlotte Premarital and Postmarital Agreement Attorneys
Assisting couples with enforceable marital agreements across North Carolina
Premarital agreements (sometimes called prenuptials) are documents designed to set up in advance how property and assets will be divided in the event a marriage ends in divorce. A postmarital agreement (or postnuptial) is generally the same thing, with the exception that it’s drafted and signed after the couple is married.
During a divorce, the division of property can be complicated and, at times, contentious. Pre- and postmarital agreements can help take some of the stress and confusion out of the process. The Charlotte divorce lawyers at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can work with you to draft a fair and equitable agreement to give you peace of mind in the unfortunate event your marriage ends in divorce. We’re also happy to provide guidance if you’ve been asked to sign a premarital or postmarital agreement.
What is a Charlotte premarital agreement?
Premarital agreements, just as they sound, are contracts signed by a couple before they get married. Typically, this agreement includes things like an inventory of what each person owns (their assets) and what each person owes (their debts) – what they’re bringing into the marriage as separate property. North Carolina has specific rules for premarital agreements, laid out in G.S. Chapter 50-B. Note that premarital agreements can’t include provisions for child custody or child support.
Your premarital agreement will spell out how you and your spouse will share property during your marriage and – in the event of a divorce – how that property will be divided, and if one spouse will provide spousal support to the other. Although once thought only for the ultra-wealthy, premarital agreements are quite common today. However, you should always work with a qualified family law attorney on premarital and postmarital agreements to ensure you properly protect your interests, both financially and legally.
What’s the difference between a postmarital agreement and a separation agreement?
Although they appear similar, there are several significant differences between a postmarital agreement and a separation agreement. A postmarital agreement, like a premarital agreement, addresses matters like property division or spousal support in the event a couple divorces. A married couple may choose to sign a postmarital agreement if they gain considerable assets during the marriage, or if they simply neglected to sign a premarital agreement before their marriage. Postmarital agreements can’t specify anything regarding child custody or child and spousal support.
A separation agreement, on the other hand, is for couples living apart with the intention of divorcing. Separation agreements can address spousal support and alimony, as well as issues of child custody and child support. If a couple can’t come to agreement on any of these types of contracts, the Charlotte family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can also assist you with mediation and arbitration.
Are premarital agreements only for rich and wealthy people?
Absolutely not – this is a myth. Even those with modest income and assets should consider a premarital or postmarital agreement. These documents can help decide in advance what happens to property and assets accumulated during the marriage in the event of a sudden death or divorce. Unfortunately, we never know what the future may hold. A couple might also want to sign a premarital agreement to show honesty and transparency, and that neither party will seek spousal support in the event of a marital split. Or the contract may spell out how they might handle a divorce (for example, mediation versus a courtroom trial). Premarital agreements, no matter what your income bracket, can provide peace of mind and reduce future legal fees.
What should be included in Charlotte premarital and postmarital agreements?
Marital agreements are about protecting both you and your spouse. Like any legal contact, these agreements should be thorough and detailed. Well-written premarital and postmarital agreements can:
- Distinguish between each spouse’s separate property and the spouses’ jointly owned property
- Protect one spouse from the other’s debts
- Provide for any children either spouse has from a previous relationship
- Ensure a family business or heirloom stays in the family
- Change or supplement your estate plan
- State terms of property distribution
Since every marriage and relationship is unique, you and your spouse may have specific needs and requirements written into your marital agreement. Our attorneys can provide guidance on North Carolina laws and statutes.
Are marital agreements enforceable?
Premarital and postmarital agreements in North Carolina are legal documents and – when written and executed correct – are legally enforceable. However, there are certain conditions under which they aren’t.
- If the couple isn’t married yet at the time of the split
- If the agreement isn’t written, signed or notarized
- One of the spouses was pressured to sign the agreement
- One of the spouses wasn’t given proper time to review the agreement
- One of the spouses didn’t provide full disclosure or provided false information
- The spouses didn’t retain independent counsel
- One or more parts of the agreement are grossly unfair
If you have concerns about the legality or enforceability of your premarital or postmarital agreement, consult with a knowledgeable Charlotte contracts attorney at Epperson Law Group, PLLC to ensure you’re informed of your rights.
Professional Charlotte premarital and postmarital agreement lawyers
No matter how many assets you have, designing and drafting marital agreements can be complex. Pre- and postmarital agreements must be thorough and detailed – both to be enforceable and to protect you and your spouse. The family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can work with you to ensure your contract protects your best interests. Contact us today. You’ll find our offices right off Exit 57 from I-485. To reserve a consultation with one of our lawyers in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.