Spouses in North Carolina who have been married for years may have amassed a significant amount of marital property. If the marriage ends, dividing marital property and assets can often be one of the most contentious and complicated parts of the divorce process. However, if the divorcing spouses have a prenuptial agreement in place, dividing property and assets is often easier and far less stressful.
Protecting property with a prenup
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is basically just a legal contract that future spouses sign before their marriage that outlines what will happen to assets or property if the marriage ends. If a couple divorces with a lawful prenup in place, property and assets will be divided as specified in the prenup. Couples can customize their prenup to their specific situation as long as it falls within the laws of their state.
With a prenup, couples can specify what property they want to keep separate and what should be considered marital or community property. For example, if one spouse owns a home before the marriage, he or she can specify in a prenuptial agreement that they will keep ownership of the home in the event of a divorce. There is no standard one-size-fits-all prenup form, so couples can add as many requests as they see fit.
A common misconception is that prenuptial agreements are only for wealthy couples. However, any couple can create a prenup to protect their personal interests and outline the terms of a possible marital breakup. A prenup is not created with the assumption of divorce, but rather to protect both parties should divorce happen. It is best to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional in North Carolina to understand how to handle property division in a prenuptial agreement.