What Should I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

What Should I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular. While many people think that only the rich or famous can benefit from a prenup, it is a helpful document for most couples. The prenup is an excellent way to provide guidance for how to handle the many issues that occur if a couple parts ways. In North Carolina, marital property is divided in an equal manner in a divorce. The prenup can define precisely how to divvy up your property. The prenup has value for both parties, but only if it is made in an enforceable way. A knowledgeable attorney will help you with a prenup that fits your needs.


Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a valuable tool that couples can sign before marriage. A prenup is a contract that outlines the way your assets and property will be divided if you end your marriage. The prenup is helpful for all couples because it offers a roadmap that could make divorce less stressful and more harmonious. A prenup is almost a necessity for those who enter a marriage with a large number of assets. Couples who own a business should consider a prenup. It is also helpful for those with complicated families, such as children from a previous marriage or relationship.


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What to Include in a Prenup

A prenup is a helpful tool as long as you include details on the issues that matter. Some of the things you will want to include in a prenup are:


  • Define the property rights and obligations of each spouse
  • Instructions for division of property
  • How to handle a business you own
  • Whether a spouse has rights to life insurance benefits
  • How children from previous relationships impact property division
  • Handling debts incurred during the marriage
  • Special instructions for specific items or issues


The more detailed a prenuptial agreement is, the better you can follow it if needed. You can include many things in a prenuptial agreement; however, you need to ensure that it stays enforceable. If you include items that are not allowed, you will open the door for a dispute of the prenup later. If that happens, it could make a prenup invalid.


What Can’t We Include in a Prenup?

There are some matters that cannot be decided ahead of time in a prenuptial agreement. Issues regarding child custody and visitation cannot be part of a prenup. Child support also should not be included in a prenuptial agreement. In general, a prenup needs to be fair. A spouse can challenge a prenup if it is not fair. The best way to make certain that your prenup is enforceable is to hire an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will discuss your particular needs and concerns and provide you with a prenup that will be perfect for your situation.


Prenuptial agreements are often a good idea for couples. If you are planning your wedding, do not forget to draft and sign a prenup. It is critical that you review the prenuptial with an attorney before you sign it. Get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.






The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four 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.




G.S. 50-20 (ncleg.net)

Prenuptial agreement | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)


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