My son is getting married in the summer, and my daughter is getting married in the fall. While all the parties, dresses and events are so very exciting, I am worried about the inheritances they received from my mother. Do each of my children need a premarital agreement? The inheritances are over a million dollars each. The divorce rate is so very high.
You ask the question I have heard most frequently this spring. Premarital agreements can protect and describe guidelines for keeping property separate from an equitable distribution in divorce. The North Carolina legislature adopted the Uniform Premarital Act years ago, so if that act is followed, the divorce and death outcome for those with premarital agreements is predictable. Basically, the agreement needs to be in writing and signed by both spouses with separate counsel and disclosures (or waiver of further disclosures).
Premarital Agreements can dictate financial outcomes in divorce for both property division and spousal support. Property division (equitable distribution) and spousal support (alimony and post-separation support) can both be waived or altered from the statutory framework. Likewise, the statutory consequences upon death for spouses can be overridden and modified. Premarital agreement cannot deal with issues of child custody and child support.
However, the most significant protection is never to commingle inherited money with a spouse by title.
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