Well he put a ring on it. In case you’ve been in a cave for the last week, J.Lo and A-Rod are engaged. Raise your hand if you think they need a Prenuptial Agreement (my hand just went up). You don’t have to be a rock star or major league athlete to benefit from a Prenuptial Agreement. In fact, in my experience Prenuptial Agreements (Prenups) are gaining in popularity. In our own practice, we have drafted three in the past month. So, what are they? And do you need one?
A Prenup is a contract between two people intending to marry that may address the following issues:
Prenups are common in which one or both of the intended spouses has separate property that they wish to preserve and protect. For example, if you have a retirement account before your marriage and you wish for that account to remain separate property (so that your spouse isn’t entitled to any of it) regardless of whether you add funds to it, you can specify that in a Prenup. You can also protect assets you wish to pass down to your children from a previous relationship. In North Carolina, you have a lot of freedom to address any assets, in any way, in a Prenup.
A Prenup can also address whether a spouse receives alimony following a separation or divorce. Many North Carolina Prenups include clauses that eliminate a person’s right to spousal support if they commit adultery or engage in other marital misconduct. However, a Prenup cannot address child custody and child support for any children of the upcoming marriage.
Many people are afraid to discuss their desire to have a Prenup and often the contracts are reviewed and signed last minute and under less than ideal situations. These circumstances jeopardize the enforceability of the agreement. To be valid, a Prenup must be signed voluntarily and unless waived by the parties, a full disclosure of each person’s assets and debts at the time of signing. To avoid issues down the road, please make sure both people are represented by counsel and have plenty of time to review and revise the proposed agreement.
So, do you need a Prenuptial Agreement? If any of the following are true for you, you should seriously consider a Prenup:
A Prenup may not be romantic but it could save you a lot of time, money and trouble should your marriage not work out. A little prevention can go a long way. Let the attorneys of Church Watson Law be sure you’re protected; drafting Prenuptial Agreements is part of our limited services menu.
Cheers to J.Lo and A-Rod and may they have a long, healthy and happy marriage!
P.S. Did you see that ring? I’ll discuss whether it is really hers in an upcoming post.