5 Benefits of Entering a Postnuptial Agreement
Most people are familiar with prenuptial agreements, which spell out how a couple’s assets and debts should be divided if they ever get divorced. Postnuptial agreements accomplish the same goals. The only difference is that a postnup is created after the couple gets married.
Overall, postnups can be an excellent way for spouses to plan for their post-divorce financial lives at a time when they can decide matters calmly and without pressure. These agreements can address all aspects of property division, including joint assets and business interests. Postnups can also provide for spousal support arrangements. However, they cannot require either spouse to waive alimony. In addition, they cannot control child support or child custody decisions.
Here are five benefits of entering a postnuptial agreement in North Carolina:
- Protecting your financial stability — You and your spouse get to decide amicably in advance how to split your assets and debts, rather than leave the decision to North Carolina’s equitable distribution law during divorce.
- Protect children — If you have children from a previous relationship, a postnup can protect assets that you intend to pass along to them, rather than risk having any part of those assets awarded to your spouse.
- Timing — You can create a postnuptial agreement at a time in your marriage when everything is going well, which means emotions will play less of a role in your conversations, allowing you to reach a clear-headed result.
- Facilitating communication — Because creating a postnup requires open, honest conversations about current and future financial goals, couples may find that their marriages become stronger. Money is one of the primary sources of stress in marriages, so having frank conversations about it can be healthy.
- Reducing conflict in divorce — A postnuptial agreement addresses many of the issues couples fight over in divorce By creating a postnup, both spouses already know how property will be divided, so there is less risk of surprise and less need for conflict resolution.
A postnuptial agreement in North Carolina must meet three conditions: (1) it must be written, (2) it must be notarized and (3) it must not contain terms that would violate public policy (such as requiring a spouse to provide unpaid labor as a condition of receiving property). Additionally, the law requires both spouses entering a postnup to be fully transparent with each other about their financial positions. Unlike in some other states, North Carolina law does not require consideration — that is, each spouse giving up something valuable — for a postnup to be valid.
The best way to make sure your agreement meets all legal requirements is by working with an experienced North Carolina family lawyer. Postnups cost money up front, but far less than you would likely pay to get divorced without one.
Located in Asheville, The Moore Law Office, PLLC is experienced in helping couples craft postnuptial agreements that are valid under North Carolina law. To speak with one of our lawyers about your goals, please call 828-333-4796 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.