Postnuptial Agreements

Spouses can contract with each other during their marriage.  A contract signed by spouses during the marriage which addresses spousal support and/or the division of property is known as a “Postnuptial Agreement.”  Postnuptial agreements are often used in situations where spouses separate, but are still legally married, and are considering reconciliation.

Support: The North Carolina legislature has recently determined that Postnuptial Agreements may contain provisions which waive or establish spousal support so long as 1) the parties are separated when they sign the agreement, 2) the contract is in writing, 3) the provision waiving the rights or rights or obligations is clearly stated, and 4) the contract is notarized by both spouses.

Property:  In addition, spouses may contract with each other with respect to the disposition of their real and personal property acquired during the marriage. North Carolina law also allows spouses to release and quitclaim rights that they might acquire during the marriage in the property of the other, with or without valuable consideration.  If the contract relates to real property or income from real property, for the contract to be valid for a period of more than three years, it must be in writing and acknowledged before a certifying officer such as a notary public, or a justice, judge, magistrate, clerk, assistant clerk or deputy clerk of the General Court of Justice.

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