Protect Your Separate Assets If The Unthinkable Happens

Nobody heads into a marriage planning for the day he or she wants out of the marriage. Unfortunately, the reality is that even the best marriages can get derailed. Signing a well-written premarital agreement is the best way to protect specific assets from becoming classified as marital property in the event of divorce. Under North Carolina law, property classified as marital property will be subject to equitable distribution between the spouses.

Some Basic Legal Tenets Apply

To be upheld in court, each party should be represented by separate attorneys.

The agreement must:

  • Be in writing
  • Be drafted and signed under no fraudulent pretense or duress
  • Be drafted and signed well in advance of the date of marriage
  • Signed before a certifying officer
  • Not be inconsistent with public policy

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are agreements entered into after the date of marriage but prior to the date of separation. These are often used when either spouse inherits a significant sum of money or property which he or she wishes to retain as separate property to keep in the family. A postnuptial agreement shall be legal, valid and binding in all respects provided that the agreement is in writing and acknowledged by both parties before a certifying officer.

Premarital And Postnuptial Agreements For Second Marriages

If you have been married previously, it is particularly important to protect yourself with a premarital agreement, especially if you have children from a previous marriage. In the event of the death of your spouse, his or her children may stake a legal claim to property that is classified as marital property. With a well-drafted premarital agreement in place, you can protect specific property and assets. As long as you don't commingle (mix together) the assets with your new spouse, the property will remain in your estate.

Call Coggin Law, PLLC, In Charlotte, North Carolina, To Learn More

It makes sense to protect your separate property. If you are considering getting married in the next six months or one year, talk to a family law attorney at Coggin Law. Call us at 704-533-8636 or use the convenient email form on the Contact page to request a return call to schedule a consultation.

*See also, N.C.G.S. §50B-4.