North Carolina Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

See more divorce related topics

North Carolina family law attorney Jonathan Breeden has experience handling prenuptial agreements as well as other marriage law issues. He understands the confusion that can arise if you or your fiancé bring up the issue of a prenuptial agreement. He can answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Contact him today at for a confidential consultation.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into before marriage that sets forth what will happen to your and your spouse’s, estate, assets, and income in the event of divorce, separation, or death.

Prenuptial agreements are useful because they allow you to bypass the confines of divorce court and dictate the separation of your property on your own terms. However, these agreements are not limited to separation and divorce. You can use a prenuptial agreement to dictate how you wish to buy and sell property within the marriage, and how you want to divide assets upon the death of a spouse.

The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (Chapter 52B) in the North Carolina General Statutes outlines the basics for a prenuptial agreement. The most common issues addressed in these contacts include:

  • Financial support if the marriage was to end
  • Rights and obligations of each party to property during the marriage and upon separation
  • Making of a will, trust, or other arrangement
  • Ownership rights of life insurance and retirement accounts
  • Preserving assets for children
  • Division of debts during the marriage and upon separation
  • Ownership of gifts received during the marriage

While the list above does not cover everything, it gives an overview of what a couple can consider when drafting a prenuptial agreement. The only major issue that a prenuptial agreement cannot address are the terms of child support.

Although the agreement is entered into before the parties marry, they are able to alter the terms after their marriage begins, as long as both parties agree in writing to the new terms.

What is the difference between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement?

When Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial arrangements are not just for the wealthy. In fact, anyone with personal assets, property, or children should consider and may benefit from a prenup.

A prenup can dictate the financial responsibilities and rights of each spouse in a marriage and what is distributed after a divorce or death. Prenuptial arrangements can protect one spouse from the other’s debts. They can also clarify how property is separated between children from a prior marriage. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can direct when spousal support can be paid to a spouse, as well as the amount and duration.

What Goes In a Prenup

Prenuptial arrangements take some time to plan and execute. While they can be tailored to most couple’s unique circumstances, most become effective on the wedding day and last for the duration of a marriage. In some cases, prenups can also be designed to go into effect or expire after some prescribed period.

Admittedly, prenuptial arrangements are not the most romantic topic for couples, but can offer important protections. It is critical for both parties to remain honest and frank when planning a prenuptial arrangement. These documents can take some time to craft, and  if one person leaves something out, this omission can make the agreement invalid.

When planning a prenup, consider:

  • Your pre-marital vs marital assets
  • Whether you want to keep finances separate
  • Important issues about fidelity, divorce, and separation
  • Your long-term financial goals

What Makes a Prenup Invalid?

North Carolina law describes requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement. The court likely will consider a prenuptial agreement invalid if any of the following issues exist:

  • It’s not in writing;
  • It’s not signed by both parties;
  • It’s signed by a party who admitted to being under duress at the time of signature;
  • It was signed too close to the date of the marriage
  • Income and/or assets were not properly or fully disclosed before signature
  • The division of assets outlined appears to be unfairly skewed in favor of one person

This list is not all-inclusive, but it addresses some common problems that can be found with a prenuptial agreement. It’s important that you and you future spouse fully disclose your personal income and assets, and work together to come up with solutions to your financial considerations upon which you both can agree.

Additionally, it is beneficial to complete a prenuptial agreement at least 30 days prior to the date of the marriage. Otherwise, the court may determine that one party felt pressured to make the agreement.

How A North Carolina Prenupital Attorney Can Help

The court can throw out any prenuptial agreement if it finds the agreement is too constricting, or unfair to either of the parties. The best way to ensure your prenuptial agreement will be all-inclusive, fair, and accepted by the Court is to work with a North Carolina attorney who focuses on marriage and divorce law.

A prenup lawyer can evaluate your circumstances and help you develop a clear understanding of what should and should not be included. Once both parties agree on the terms, a lawyer can review your assets and liabilities for completeness and draft a fair agreement that protects everyone involved.

Contact Breeden Law Office

If you and your spouse are considering a prenuptial agreement, you probably have a lot of question. It’s best to get answers and insight from an experienced family lawyer who knows how to protect your interests. Local attorney Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Offices has more than 19 years of experience helping North Carolina families with all of their legal matters, including prenups in virtually every conceivable situation. Call today to find out how he can help you.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 661-4970

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden