The financial arrangements between spouses in the event of a divorce or separation are outlined in a legal document known as a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. Prenuptial agreements are often viewed as nothing more than a means of preparing for a failed marriage. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement is capable of much more than just laying out how certain matters would be resolved in the sad event of a divorce. One of its biggest advantages is that it gives the bride and groom the chance to have difficult talks now, instead of waiting until after their wedding to address a problem.
If you compare a prenuptial agreement to an insurance policy or estate plan, it becomes much less intimidating. Nobody likes to think about dying, see their house flood, or get into a car accident, but we constantly prepare for these unfavorable scenarios to keep ourselves safe. Similar protections are provided by a prenuptial agreement, and couples who enter into one may be better equipped to face the future and live out their happily ever after—together!
A Prenuptial Breakup
Prenuptial agreements are reliable contracts, but no agreement is infallible. Prior legal precedent typically gave individual judges almost total discretion over whether to uphold or invalidate prenuptial agreements. Not only did the results vary greatly between counties, but they also did among judges in the same county.
In this regard, the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreement Act (UPMAA) makes a significant difference. A judge can now only declare a premarital agreement void if:
Unconscionable and uneven are not the same thing. It is unequal to have a 70-30 split or a very low threshold for spousal support. It is unethical to include a clause that states, “I get all the assets, and you get all the debts.” Furthermore, the disputing spouse must demonstrate that the agreement was unconscionable at the time of its creation, not at the time of the divorce.
In the same way, signing under duress is nearly always required. Even “sign or else” threats are given by some spouses. Prenuptial agreements are not legally voidable due to these circumstances. As an alternative, there must be tremendous pressure, such as physical coercion or a groom surprising a bride with a prenuptial agreement just before she walks down the aisle. Involuntarily signed prenuptial agreements occur when one partner conceals important information from the other, leaving the signatory unaware of the terms of the agreement.
Severability clauses are present in most prenuptial agreements. Even if a judge rules that one portion is invalid, the other portions remain fully enforceable.
Typical Clauses in a Prenuptial Agreement Could be:
1. Property and Asset Division
Outline the distribution of the couple’s possessions, including any money they may have earned together. Establish whether one partner will provide spousal support or alimony to the other, as well as the parameters of that support.
Discuss the management plan for debts incurred during a marriage.
3. Business interests
In the event of a divorce, the prenuptial agreement may specify how the business interests of either or both spouses will be handled.
4. Rights to inheritance
Indicate whether a prenuptial agreement will impact a spouse’s ability to inherit from the other.
Under North Carolina law, other prenuptial agreement can cover a wide range of subjects, such as:
1. The adjustment or discontinuation of spousal support
2. Estate planning to implement the terms of the agreement.
3. Possession and distribution of a life insurance policy’s death benefit
4. Anything else, including their own rights and responsibilities, provided that doing so does not contravene any laws or public policy.
It’s crucial to remember that different jurisdictions may have different laws governing the enforceability of prenuptial agreements, and that certain requirements may need to be fulfilled for the agreement to be deemed enforceable.
Furthermore, as child custody and support are usually decided by the court based on the child’s best interests at the time of divorce, prenuptial agreements cannot address these kinds of issues. People who are thinking about getting into a prenuptial agreement should speak with lawyers to make sure the document is legally compliant and properly written.
Frequently Asked Question About Prenuptial Agreement
1. Do prenuptial agreements have legal enforceability?
In general, the answer is yes, but enforceability can vary depending on a number of factors, including complete disclosure, the lack of coercion, and equity at the time of creation.
2. If there isn’t a prenuptial agreement, what takes place?
Marital property and assets are normally governed by the laws of the jurisdiction in the event of a divorce or separation if there is no prenuptial agreement.
3. Does a prenuptial agreement cover every aspect of divorce?
Prenuptial agreements can cover a wide range of topics, but some topics are not allowed to be covered, such as child custody agreements, which are normally decided upon in the best interests of the child.
4. What is prenuptial agreement?
The financial arrangements between spouses in the event of a divorce or separation are outlined in a legal document known as a prenuptial agreement, or prenup.
5. What makes someone think about getting a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are frequently used to safeguard individual assets, specify spousal support, and lay out the terms of the division of assets and debts in the event of a divorce.
6. Do prenuptial agreements just cover financial matters?
Prenuptial agreements frequently cover financial matters, but they can also cover other topics like custody, visitation rights, and marital responsibilities.