Thinking about the possibility of divorce before you get married may seem unromantic. You and your fiancé may be head over heels in love, and you could imagine spending the rest of your lives together. Yet, in the back of your head, you may have worries about what could happen if your relationship sours down the road. No matter your concerns, a premarital agreement will address how you and your fiancé will handle them in case you get divorced.
How premarital agreements work
Premarital agreements document how couples will share their assets during their marriage and divide them if they get divorced. If neither you nor your fiancé are entering your marriage with significant assets, you may not need to draft one. Yet, if one or both of you have significant assets, your agreement can protect your ownership of these. If one or both of you have significant debts, like student loans, your agreement can absolve the other from taking responsibility for them. And if one or both of you have children from a previous marriage, your agreement can protect their share of your estate.
Besides asset and debt division, you can set forth terms for alimony in your premarital agreement. Yet, under North Carolina law, your agreement cannot waive it altogether if it would cause you or your fiancé to end up on public assistance. Furthermore, your agreement cannot waive any child support you or your fiancé may need to provide the other in the future. Nor can your agreement forth any child custody arrangements.
Making sure your premarital agreement is valid
When drafting your premarital agreement, you will want to make sure it is enforceable. If you execute your agreement improperly, it could end up invalidated. Some reasons this could happen include:
- You or your fiancé fail to disclose information about your assets in your agreement
- You or your fiancé provide false information about your assets in your agreement
- You or your fiancé sign your agreement under duress
- You or your fiancé fail to sign your agreement
- You and your fiancé enter into your agreement right before your wedding
- Your agreement contains invalid provisions
- Your agreement’s terms are unconscionable – or unfair – to you or your fiancé
A well-written premarital agreement can protect both you and your fiancé’s finances. To make sure the terms of your agreement are sound, you will want to seek the help of an attorney in drafting it.