Marriage is not a flat line; there are ups and downs that every couple experiences. Over the course of these events, spouses can change how they feel about their relationship, their priorities and their future.
In light of certain events, it will be prudent to examine your legal options for protecting yourself and your property claims in case the relationship ends in divorce. One option is to create a postnuptial agreement. You may want to do this after the following events.
Infidelity or other marital misconduct
Reconciling after a difficult event like an affair often leads spouses to reassess their relationship and define new rules. As such, spouses may want to think about creating a postnuptial agreement as a means of securing full disclosure in light of marital misconduct. This can also help to rebuild trust and reset marital expectations.
Accumulation of wealth or property
You might not have had a lot of money or assets when you got married, but there could be a substantial increase in individual wealth or property ownership during a marriage. In these situations, spouses can create a postnuptial agreement to resolve claims of property ownership and distribution.
Alternatively, either spouse may take on significant debt during a marriage. Under these circumstances, it can be wise to create a postnuptial agreement that shields one party from taking on the debt accumulated by the other. Without a postnup, the debt in question could be split between both parties in the equitable distribution of assets.
In these and similar situations, spouses have cause to define their priorities with regard to property division and financial security in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial agreement can accomplish this.
Before you rush into the process or agree to anything, it will be vital to understand your rights and options. Postnuptial agreements are legal documents that you must prepare in accordance with North Carolina statutes and review carefully. Because missteps and unlawful terms could ultimately jeopardize the validity of the agreement, you should discuss the agreement with a family law attorney.