While it may be very easy to enter into a marriage, it can be quite difficult to end a marriage. One way to make a potential divorce less difficult and costly is to have a premarital agreement. A premarital agreement is a legally binding contract signed before the marriage is finalized. Often, couples sign a premarital agreement when there is a significant disparity in wealth or income between the future spouses, when one or both of the future spouses maintains an ownership interest in a preexisting business, or when one or both of the future spouses have children from a previous relationship whose financial security they seek to ensure in the event of a separation.
Premarital agreements can be a useful tool for protecting assets and limiting liability for spousal support in the event of a separation or for controlling the distribution of assets upon death. Premarital agreements can identify separate property owned prior to the marriage and dictate how such separate property will be distributed in the event of a separation. Premarital agreements can also dictate how property acquired during the marriage will be distributed in the event of a separation if the parties prefer not to have North Carolina equitable distribution law govern the distribution of property acquired during their marriage. Premarital agreements can include spousal support waivers providing that neither spouse will owe spousal support in the event of a separation or, alternatively, premarital agreements can provide a specific scheme for what spousal support will be owed in the event of a separation. Premarital agreements can also limit the types of claims that can be made against a spouse’s estate in the event of a spouse’s death.
To learn more about premarital agreements, contact Chapel Hill Family Law by phone at (919) 419-1244 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.