Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”


You have probably heard of a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) – an agreement entered into by soon-to-be married couples to protect their assets. Prenuptial agreements are not the only agreements that couples have that can protect their assets. A postnuptial agreement (“postnup”) is entered into after a couple has already gotten married. A postnup can be just as important as a prenup. There are many reasons that a couple might want to enter into a postnuptial agreement.


Wedding-rings-on-sand-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Prenup-Family-Law-Attorney-300x225Alter a Prenup


Couples enter into a prenup when they are trying to protect their assets and keep them separate from their spouse in the event of a divorce. A prenup can account for all of the assets a person might have before marriage, but it might not account for sudden changes to their financial situation once they are married. Receiving a large inheritance, getting a promotion at work, and a variety of other circumstances could cause couples to alter or revise their prenup. If there have been significant changes to the financial situations of the individuals, they might consider a postnup.


Protection of Assets


If a couple did not enter into a prenup before marriage, they might decide to enter into one after they are married. North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that assets are divided equitably in the event of divorce. A postnup can protect assets and essentially override North Carolina property law. In a postnup, the couple can choose the way that they want their assets divided in the event of a divorce.


Protecting Business Interests


If one, or both, spouses have their own business, they might want to keep their interest in the business separate from their spouse. There could be negative implications for a business in a divorce, so it might be smart to protect your business from the outset.


Protection from Infidelity


No one wants to think about their spouse cheating on them, but a postnup can offer protections for the wronged spouse. A clause could be put in the agreement outlining the consequences of a cheating spouse.


Financial Differences


If one spouse has a large amount of debt, a postnup can be used to protect the other spouse from that debt. Keeping assets separate protects them from being taken by creditors.


Requirements of a Postnup


Postnups are complex legal writing that touch on many different areas of the law. An experienced attorney can help you create a legal document free of errors and other common oversights. Complex areas of the law require special attention to detail so that no errors occur and the document is considered valid by the courts if for some reason the document would need to be enforced.


Contracts between married couples must be handled correctly. There are three main requirements of every postnup in North Carolina:

  • The postnuptial agreement must be in writing;
  • The agreement can not contain provisions or clauses that are disadvantageous to the public; and
  • The agreement must be notarized by the proper official.


The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you. If you have questions about postnups, prenups, or any other marital documents, we are here to answer your questions and help you determine what the proper actions are for you. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until spring 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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