Similar to Prenuptial Agreements, a Postnuptial Agreement allows spouses to address issues that could arise in the event of separation or divorce, prior to the actual separation. The primary difference in the two is that a Postnuptial Agreement is entered after the couple is married, whereas a Prenuptial Agreement is entered prior to the marriage. Postnuptial Agreements, authorized by N.C.G.S. 50-10, must be in writing, the waivers of rights and obligations must be clearly stated in the contract, and the contract must be signed by both parties in front of a certifying officer (in other words, it must be notarized). North Carolina General Statutes allow contracts between spouse, which address the waiver of rights or obligations that may arise pursuant to the marriage, as long as such contract
Why might couples desire a Postnuptial Agreement if they did not execute a Prenuptial Agreement? There are several scenarios in which a Postnuptial Agreement may be appropriate when a Prenuptial Agreement wasn’t executed. For example, the parties may have desired a Prenuptial Agreement, but were unable to come to an agreement on the terms in an appropriate timeframe prior to the marriage. Or, one spouse may have received a large gift during the marriage and wish to use it for the benefit of the marriage, but also wants to make sure they are credited for any such amounts in the event of a dissolution of the marriage.
Postnuptial Agreements are contracts, and must be drafted and executed with the appropriate requirements in mind. It is important to speak with an attorney if you and your spouse are considering a Postnuptial Agreement, to ensure that it meets all requirements to be enforceable. Call one of the experienced Family Law Attorneys at Emblem Legal to discuss your particular situation and needs.