Prenuptial – Premarital Agreements
A premarital agreement, also commonly called a prenuptial agreement or “prenup,” is an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and will be effective when the parties become married. Premarital agreements should not be confused with postnuptial agreements, which are agreements entered into during the marriage setting forth certain rights and responsibilities of the parties if they separate and become divorced.
These agreements have great value in protecting your future, by protecting what you have now and possibly what you expect to gain in the future. Although more common for individuals having been married more than one time, this tool has the same protection for all individuals regardless of your marital history.
In the past, prenuptial agreements were seen in a negative light — as if someone was already planning for divorce. Recently, however, these premarital agreements are seen as the system of organization and proactive dispute resolution that they were always intended to be and will allow the parties to enter into a contract that establishes how certain matters will be handled in the future, should something occur such as:
- The rights and obligations of each party with regard to any property, whenever and wherever acquired or located
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, or otherwise dispose of, control, or manage certain property such as a “vacation house”
- The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event
- The modification or elimination of spousal support
- The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement
- The ownership rights in and disposition of death benefits from a life insurance policy
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement
- Any other matter not in violation of “public policy” or a statute imposing criminal liability
Certain issues, such as child support and child custody, cannot be included in a premarital agreement. If you are considering marriage, it is wise to seek the counsel of a Charlotte prenuptial agreement lawyer as soon as possible. We can guide you through a discussion about all the issues and help you draft the document.