Going through a divorce in North Carolina can be one of the most difficult, traumatic events in a person’s life. While the physical and psychological stresses of divorce can be enough in some cases to seriously impact a person’s experience, the financial potentialities can bring on significant unwanted life changes. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements can operate to protect the parties from financial shock during and after divorce, but they require a bit of planning beforehand.
Prenuptial agreements are entered into by the people in a couple before they get married. They set forth how the couple will divide assets if the marriage ends in divorce. Prenups have been criticized as unromantic legal instruments, but they can work to save the parties from headache and heartache. They can also save the parties a lot of money, as they go a long way toward preventing drawn out, vitriolic fights in court. Prenuptial agreements can also make clear how assets will be distributed on the death of a spouse, which can be important for couples who come into the marriage with children.
Postnuptial agreements, on the other hand, are entered into after the marriage has begun. Other than their timing, they are very similar to prenups. Once a couple gets married, many assets earned thereafter are jointly owned by the couple. These assets might include stock options, real estate or retirement assets. A postnuptial agreement sets forth how marital assets and future earnings will be divided.
People in North Carolina who are considering divorce might want to speak with a lawyer. In cases where there is a prenup or postnup in place, a lawyer might be able to help by examining its terms to determine what the client can expect. More information may be found on a premarital agreements blog. A lawyer who practices family law might be able to negotiate on the client’s behalf during property division or draft and file the petition for divorce to initiate proceedings.