Written by Jonathan Breeden
When the rich and famous divorce, you often hear there’s a prenuptial agreement that determines the rights of the parties and the property split. But did you know that after you marry, you can enter into a postnuptial agreement? This is like a prenup, but is drafted after the wedding. Just like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial contract will be used to distribute property and determine other issues in the event of a divorce.
If you believe a postnup might be warranted for your marriage, a North Carolina postnuptial attorney can help. At Breeden Law Office, attorney Jonathan Breeden can determine if a postnup is right for you, and guide you through the process of drafting one. To schedule a consultation of your case, call (919) 661-4970 today, or reach out through the online form.
Just because you are contemplating a postnup doesn’t mean your marriage is on the rocks. These types of agreements are also beneficial for estate planning, especially if the parties have previous marriages and children from those unions. Or, you may have inherited substantial assets since you got married.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting a postnup, there are likely several questions running through your mind, including:
Postnuptial agreements can differ depending on your needs. For example, you may want a contract that details how assets and liabilities are divided in case of divorce. Or, you may simply want a document that provides for the waiver of spousal rights in the event of death. In some instances, an agreement can be fashioned as a framework for separation as related to issues of custody, child and spousal support, and divisions of assets.
Valid North Carolina postnups must be in writing and clearly state that you and your spouse are waiving certain rights and obligations. The agreement must be consistent with public policy, and it must be signed not only by the parties, but also a certifying officer. A certifying offer can be a notary public, judge, or court clerk.
A judge will evaluate a few different factors when determining the validity of a postnup, including if either party signed under duress or coercion. For example, if your spouse threatened you with bodily harm or to take the children away if you didn’t sign, a judge will likely find the agreement invalid. In addition, a postnup might be invalidated by fraud if a party is found to be hiding assets.
The effect of a postnuptial agreement on a marriage is dependent on the circumstances under which it is sought. A troubled marriage may grow more challenging if the subject of a postnuptial agreement is broached, but it also might be an incentive for you and your spouse to work it out. In some situations, a postnup may be helpful to marital harmony if it settles property matters fairly, especially when there are children from previous relationships.
As the above FAQs show, a postnuptial agreement is a complicated legal document that must be fair to both parties. If a judge thinks it is unjust, the document could be invalidated and not considered in the event of a divorce. That’s why it is essential to have an attorney at Breeden Law Office help. Conveniently located in Garner, Angier, Smithfield, and Raleigh, NC, attorney Jonathan Breeden can help draft a postnuptial agreement specifically for your situation. Call (919) 661-4970 today, or reach out online to schedule an initial consultation of your case.