North Carolina is a Uniform Pre-marital Agreement Act state. Another word for pre-marital agreement is “pre-nuptial” agreement or “pre-nupt”. This means that with disclosure or certain waivers of disclosures, the North Carolina parties can agree on property division and alimony (or waiver) of these AND estate rights in the event of the death of a spouse. The bride and groom each need a lawyer. Same sex marriage partners also are eligible for pre-marital agreements.
An example of someone who might consider a pre-marital agreement would be a Greensboro business woman who owns a substantial business, who has grown children, and has been divorced once. The Greensboro woman would have much to protect. Further, grown children frequently view a new spouse as a threat to an inheritance, and the grown children might rest easier if they knew “mom had a prenupt”. Also consider that while the pre-marital business might be separate property, under the North Carolina equitable distribution statute, the pre-marital business might have “active” appreciation after the marriage; active appreciation is marital.
An example of another situation for consideration with regard to a pre-marital agreement might be the Asheboro man who is only 25, a college graduate, and is marrying his college sweetheart; neither have been married before; neither have children; and neither have money. However, the Asheboro man will go to work in his parent’s business and may inherit a large sum in the future, which may include stock in the family business. The family business is a cause for concern, as this certainly could lead to active appreciation, due to son’s efforts, and thus, marital property. Consider also this scenario. Bride-to-be from High Point receives $5000 of alimony per month from her ex, and she will receive this for four more years. She wants to get on with her life and has found the love of her life. But, she doesn’t want to give up the alimony. A pre-marital agreement could provide for replacement of the alimony that will be given up at the wedding.
A Lexington man is paying “too much alimony” to his ex and he doesn’t want to be burned again with his new, and second, wife. A pre-marital agreement could solve this problem for him. He could obtain a waiver of alimony before the wedding.
Now, for some frequently asked questions from all over North Carolina on pre-marital agreements:
When should you mention a pre-marital agreement to your intended for the first time? The answer is: the sooner the better. If you are adamant about having a pre-marital agreement or NOT signing a pre-marital agreement, it is important to know the other partner’s point of view as early as possible in the relationship. If having (or not having) a pre-marital agreement is a deal breaker, the last thing you want is to have the wedding party gather and then discuss this important issue at that time! Carolyn Woodruff suggests looking for the first innocuous time to mention your position on a pre-nupt; maybe you are watching television with your significant other and someone on the television mentions a pre-marital agreement. Use that as your opportunity to bring up the issue.
When should the pre-marital agreement be signed? Woodruff Family Law Group suggests that a premarital agreement be signed at least sixty days before the wedding and certainly before wedding invitations go out.
Can alimony be covered by a premarital agreement? Yes.
Can alimony be waived by a premarital agreement? Yes
Can one attorney represent both the bride and groom? This is a really bad idea.
Will I have to make income and property disclosures? Yes, disclosure (or waiver of disclosure) is part of the pre-marital process.