A prenuptial agreement is a contract that parties to a marriage in North Carolina or elsewhere sign before a wedding taking place. While there has been a stigma surrounding prenuptial agreements in the past, it has largely faded in recent years. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to at least talk to your future spouse about the possibility of creating one.
You will likely bring assets into a marriage
The average man gets married for the first time just before the age of 30 while a woman gets married for the first time a few months before her 28th birthday. There is a good chance that you will have money in a 401(k), own stocks or have other assets that you will want to protect in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be used to specify what should be considered separate property if your marriage ends.
Retain control over the terms of a final divorce settlement
Perhaps the biggest advantage of creating a prenuptial agreement is that you can exert a greater level of control over the outcome of a divorce proceeding. Without a prenuptial agreement, you may need a judge to craft the terms of a divorce decree, and a judge may not necessarily create an order that you or your spouse agree with.
The process of creating a prenuptial agreement may help you and your spouse learn to communicate about financial and other issues. This may actually work to minimize the chances that a marriage won’t last for many years or decades to come. In addition to protecting assets that you already own, such an agreement can help protect a business idea or other intellectual property that you may create during the marriage.