Winston-Salem & Greensboro Premarital and Postmarital Agreement Attorneys
Helping couples create and enforce marital contracts in the Piedmont Triad, NC
Premarital and postmarital (sometimes called pre- and postnuptial) agreements are a practical idea for many newly engaged couples. These contracts, which can be drafted either before or after marriage, are valuable tools to manage expectations and terms in the event of marital disputes in the future. If you are marrying for the second or third time, have children from previous marriages, or a complex portfolio of assets, it is wise to consider a premarital or postmarital agreement.
The family law attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates, P.C. offer experienced guidance on premarital and postmarital agreements. Whether you need help creating an agreement, or reviewing an agreement provided to you, we bring over 25 years of knowledge to the table. Talk to us today.
What is a Winston-Salem premarital agreement?
A premarital agreement is a contract two people sign before they marry. Your prenup can specify a variety of issues, including:
- Who is and is not responsible for certain expenses during the course of the marriage
- Defining what is separate property and what is joint property
- Details on what happens to the marital property, income, debt, and assets in the event the marriage comes to an end
- The amount and duration of alimony or support one spouse may pay to the other in the event of a divorce or separation
- How specific assets are to be handled if one spouse passes away or becomes incapacitated
As family law attorneys, we do not like to think of premarital agreements as plan for divorce. Rather, we believe they work best as contracts that help eliminate the stress and expense of a legal battle later in life, in the case of unexpected events.
What is a Greensboro postmarital agreement?
A postmarital agreement is just like a premarital agreement, except it is created and signed after a couple is married. The terms and details of a postnup can be the same as a prenup, spelling out the conditions of how property and assets are divided if your marriage ends.
Why might I need a NC premarital agreement?
Many people ask our legal team, “Do I really need a prenup or premarital agreement? It just doesn’t seem romantic.” That is completely understandable, especially if you are newly engaged and looking at a bright and happy future. However, even if your marriage never runs into any problems, a premarital agreement can offer many advantages – and actually make your union stronger.
A thorough premarital agreement prepared by both parties ensures that you and your future spouse are honest and transparent about your financial situations. There will be no future surprises about hidden debt or assets and, if desired, you can spell out who is responsible for different activities – like who prepares tax returns, who pays for health insurance, or who is involved in the family business. Laying out these conditions in advance can prevent misunderstandings or disputes later in the marriage.
Consider a premarital or prenuptial agreement if either you or your partner have:
- Children from a previous marriage
- Concerns about debt or credit scores
- Full or part ownership in a business or LLC
- Plans to quit working after you become married
- Your own personal assets that you want to keep separate
You and your spouse can also put in your wishes regarding division of assets in the event of either one of your deaths.
Why do I need a NC postmarital agreement?
Just like a premarital agreement, couples enter into postmarital agreements to protect their assets and property. Often, married couples come to the attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates to create a post-nup after a significant change in circumstances. This might include one spouse receiving a significant inheritance, or securing a large promotion at work. Or, the couple might find out new information during their marriage that might warrant creating a postmarital document.
Some couples will make a postmarital agreement before they divorce, like a separation agreement. The difference between postmarital agreements and separation agreements, however, is that postmarital agreements cannot address any issues regarding child custody, child support, or alimony.
Are pre- and postmarital agreements enforceable?
Yes. Once signed and notarized, both of these agreements are legal documents and are enforceable by the court. However, according to North Carolina’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, under certain conditions, marital contracts are invalid and unenforceable. A marital agreement will not be enforceable if one spouse proves that:
- That party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or
- The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement, that party:
- Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
- Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
- Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
If you are concerned about the enforceability of your marital agreement, the attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates are happy to answer all of your questions.
What is NOT allowed in a premarital or postmarital agreement?
While a premarital agreement can do many things, there are also a few things it cannot do:
- Allow either spouse to waive their right to alimony
- Make any decisions regarding child custody or child support
- Provide a financial incentive to divorce
- Require either spouse to break the law
- Specify which spouse is responsible for non-financial matters, like who is responsible for what chores, or who decides how the children will be raised
Even if you do not choose to enlist the services of an attorney to create a premarital or postmarital agreement, it is crucial you have a qualified attorney review yours before you sign it, to ensure you and your children are thoroughly protected.
NC premarital and postmarital agreement attorneys
Marital agreements are becoming more popular and more destigmatized as more couples understand their value. The knowledgeable lawyers at Hartsoe & Associates, P.C. can help you create a detailed pre- or postmarital agreement, or review an agreement with you. Let us put our experience to work for you. We serve families and clients in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, as well as the Piedmont Triad. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, please call 336-725-1985 or fill out our contact form.