Being Productive During Quarantine: Crossing a Prenup off your To-Do List

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has resulted in the rescheduling of numerous events, including countless weddings. Since you and your partner now have more time to spend looking at floral arrangements and wedding cake toppers it is also now the perfect time to consider a prenup.

What are the benefits of a prenup?

Prenups are generally referred to in movies as a scary piece of paper, but what are they really? Prenups or premarital agreements are contracts that protect the rights of both parties involved. One of the benefits of a premarital agreement is that you can clearly decide now what will happen to individual, marital, and divisible property if you wish to separate in the future. You can also work together with your partner to provide for creative solutions that would likely not be possible if the parties were in a dispute and were to separate in the future. Lastly, premarital agreements can offer a level of individual protection of the assets each party has acquired prior to their marriage as the parties undertake the responsibility of combining their financial lives to create joint accounts and a shared marital estate.

Is a prenup enforceable?

In North Carolina, premarital agreements are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. As defined by the Act a premarital agreement is “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” An agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parties. Once the parties are married, the agreement can be amended or revoked with another written agreement signed by both parties. If the parties end up not getting married, then the premarital agreement will not be valid.

The premarital agreement will govern how the parties control their property, including assets and debts. The agreement can also eliminate or modify spousal support that would be paid from one party to another. Certain provisions of the agreement can take effect based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events. For example, the amount of spousal support can be determined based on the length of the marriage. It is important to note that for a premarital agreement to be the most effective, one must have estate planning documents and beneficiary designation forms drafted or modified to reflect the premarital agreement. Finally, the enforcement of a pre-marital agreement by the Court requires both parties to have been represented by counsel in the negotiation and execution of the Pre-Marital Agreement, as well, as making specific disclosures as required by law.

If you are engaged or planning on proposing, then contact Skufca Law to discuss drafting a premarital agreement with one of our family law attorneys to protect you and your future partner’s rights!