Getting engaged is one of the most exciting milestones in someone’s life, and it is often a time of celebration and happiness. Some couples may feel comfortable discussing a premarital agreement, but sometimes it can be a difficult subject that raises uncomfortable issues. Consulting an attorney is one of the easiest ways to take the stress out of determining whether a premarital agreement is right for your marriage and, if so, how to go about preparing an agreement. At the Olsinski Law Firm, our Charlotte and Concord premarital agreement lawyers have counseled numerous couples on the role and scope of a premarital agreement, and we would be happy to help you in a similar fashion. If you are not sure where to start or what a premarital agreement typically involves, we are available to answer your questions.Premarital Agreements in North Carolina
North Carolina has adopted the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act, which creates a set of rules for premarital agreements. Some key rules to note are that the agreement must be in writing and signed by the parties. The agreement is not legally enforceable until the marriage is completed. Any amendments to the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties once again.
One of the most common misconceptions about premarital agreements is that they are only for wealthy individuals with many valuable assets. This is not true. A premarital agreement can be used by any couple to agree on certain issues or aspects of their marriage and a potential divorce before the issue arises. Our Charlotte and Concord premarital agreement attorneys believe that it is often easier to reach a compromise or arrange a mutually amicable process for dealing with an issue when tempers are calm and emotions are not involved. Once something happens to raise the issue of divorce, reaching an agreement on asset division, among other things, can be much more difficult.
The agreement will typically spell out marital rights and responsibilities, as well as an arrangement for how property will be divided upon death or divorce. Spouses can use a premarital agreement to make decisions about which property will remain separate property after they are married, such as real estate or businesses. The agreement can be used to determine limits on spending during the marriage, as well as creating a plan for dividing income and assets that are accrued during the marriage, but that are not owned at the time of the marriage. The agreement can also include rules regarding each spouse's right to sell, transfer, or purchase property during the marriage, including property that they have not yet acquired. It can also include rules for how the couple plans to manage their money and financial interests.
Our premarital agreement attorneys can advise Charlotte or Concord residents on whether to include a spousal support provision. This can determine whether or not a spouse will be required to provide or entitled to receive spousal support in the event that they seek a divorce. You can also include a clause in the agreement that entitles a spouse to any death benefits from the other spouse’s life insurance policy in the event of an untimely death.
One thing to note is that the premarital agreement cannot be used to eliminate or reduce a child’s right to receive support in the event of a divorce. Since a judge needs to review and approve a proposed child support and custody agreement, any clause or term in a premarital agreement attempting to create such an agreement will not be upheld.
There are ways to contest the enforceability of a premarital agreement, including proving that one spouse did not sign it voluntarily, that the agreement was severely unfair when it was signed due to one spouse’s omission or lie regarding his or her assets, or that one party engaged in fraud. To avoid a claim that the premarital agreement is invalid our attorneys recommend that the premarital agreement is negotiated and signed at least thirty (30) days prior to the parties’ wedding date.Meet with a Premarital Agreement Lawyer in Charlotte or Concord
If you are considering a premarital agreement, call our family law attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about whether this legal document is right for you. We will answer your questions and help you understand how this agreement can facilitate your marital goals. We have served clients throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including in Charlotte, Concord, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. To set up your appointment, call our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747, or contact us online.