The state of North Carolina follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) to establish requirements for prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between future spouses made prior to marriage. Although we expect our marriages to last, a prenuptial agreement may help avoid conflict in the future should the marriage dissolve. Creating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage is also a good idea in that you can decide how assets may be split in the future while you are still getting along with your significant other. Many people mistakenly believe that prenuptial agreements are only beneficial in dividing the marital home or bank accounts. However, prenuptial agreements provide a wide array of flexibility in terms of what can be covered by them.

Division of Property
Many people associate prenuptial agreements with the division of property, however, the extent of what is considered property is rather large. For instance, while you may think that prenuptial agreements are for the division of non-living items or real estate, prenuptial agreements can extend as far as to who keeps the family pets when the marriage ends. In North Carolina, pets are considered property and therefore can be included in a prenuptial agreement. This way, spouses do not have to fight over Fido but rather will already have a plan in place should the marriage end.

Financial Disclosures
Another part of a prenuptial agreements that people typically do not think of when deciding to establish a prenuptial agreement is having a financial disclosure in the document. A financial disclosure is a complete listing of assets, debts, and income which the parties then share with one another. Things to be disclosed income:

–         Savings and checking accounts

–         Investments

–         Life insurance policies

–         Retirement funds

–         Personal Property

–         Real Estate

–         Credit Card Debt

–         Mortgage balance

–         Car Loans

–         Unpaid Taxes

–         School Loan

Parties will sign the document acknowledging that they have shared the full extent of what they own and what they owe. Parties must know what rights they are waiving before entering into a prenuptial agreement and without a financial disclosure, a prenuptial agreement may be set-aside or voided by a court. These are just two examples of items that can be included in a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements provides flexibility in what items can be divided and how. Before signing a prenuptial agreement, you should speak to a family law attorney to make sure you are covering the division of all items you wish to protect in the future.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal counseling, contact one of Hatcher Law Group’s experienced family law attorneys today.