Planning before marriage for what happens afterward, whether it is from a divorce or a partner’s death, is important to reduce the stress and trauma of these events for residents of North Carolina. Taking the first step in planning is imperative when a person is on a second or third marriage and there are children from a previous marriage involved. In many ways, a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement do the same thing. The biggest difference between the two is whether the agreement is signed before or after a couple is officially married.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not normally necessary on first marriages when there are few assets involved. These documents are intended to make the distribution of assets, money or martial property from a marriage pre-arranged so that during the dissolution of a marriage, the splitting of assets is already taken care of.
These agreements can also reduce the financial burden of divorce, including future financial stresses of ongoing payments. Within the agreement can be how alimony is or is not paid, whether a certain percentage of the overall savings between the two is split, or what to do if one spouse receives a sum of money from an inheritance or trust and wants all of that money rather than divide it with their ex.
Despite some interpretations of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as setting up the marriage for failure, financial fortitude and asset assignment make the process easier. Seeking an experienced attorney in family law may help you navigate what is necessary as you draft an agreement. An attorney may also help you clearly define property and asset concerns as well as review documents presented from your spouse.