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How does a premarital agreement address spousal support?

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Asset Division, Divorce

Prior to getting married, many North Carolina couples will agree to have a premarital agreement. This document can detail how various issues will be settled if the marriage does not work out and they decide to get a divorce. However, there might still be disputes, even if there was a premarital agreement.

One of the most common reasons for which parties engage in disagreements even if they have a signed and valid premarital agreement is over spousal support. It is important to understand the law and how the courts will decide on this type of case.

Understanding spousal support issues even with a premarital agreement

 Because one of the most common sources of discord in a divorce is spousal support, the objective of a premarital agreement is to avoid that acrimony and end the marriage without an extended court battle. However, the agreement could be called into question or nullified for certain reasons. In some cases, the person who signed the agreement and entered the marriage with fewer assets and less means than the other might not have known how much property there was. That could make it unenforceable. The agreement must be voluntary.

In the context of spousal support, the receiving party might not be able to support themselves without some form of spousal support. To avoid them being eligible for public assistance, the agreement stating there will be no spousal support might not be upheld. Then the court will order some form of spousal support to keep the receiving party from needing public assistance.

From the perspective of the person who would be ordered to pay support, they could claim that the receiving party is simply not willing to gain education or training to find suitable employment to support themselves. They could assert that the other person is trying to undo the agreement that stated there would be no spousal support.

Marital agreements and accompanying disputes may require professional assistance

It is not unusual for marital agreements to be questioned. Spousal support is a primary reason for that. When crafting the agreement, it is important to do everything possible to make sure it is valid and fair. When there is a clash over its validity and each side has their own viewpoint on the need and amount of child support, it is wise to have professional assistance to try and reach an acceptable resolution either through negotiation or by going to court.