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Family Law Contracts and Agreements

Not many people know that there are several points in a relationship at which you can contract the outcomes of certain issues. Specifically, a couple can agree on important issues before getting married, after getting married, or during divorce, if the relationship comes to this. The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have significant experience in drafting, negotiating, and enforcing several different types of family law contracts and agreements. No matter if you are planning on getting engaged, preparing for your wedding day, about to be separated from your spouse, or seeking out a divorce, our experienced Weddington, North Carolina family law attorneys have the skills and knowledge to protect your rights and your assets throughout this process. If you need a new contract drafted or have questions regarding the significance of an existing agreement that is currently in place, do not hesitate to contact us.

Types of Agreements

North Carolina law notes that a married couple must be separated for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce. Not surprisingly, that year-long wait can be a difficult one to endure. When spouses have irreconcilable differences, coming to an agreement over multiple emotionally-charged issues such as child custody, alimony, child support, and division of property can be challenging, to say the least. Family law contracts, however, are legally binding agreements entered between the spouses that can address all of these issues. These legal contracts preemptively address these difficult marital topics and help to avoid unpredictability, lessen clashes, and thwart costly litigation. Some examples of the types of agreements spouses may enter into under North Carolina law include separation agreements, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and free trader agreements.

  • Separation agreements: A separation agreement is a contract that may address almost any issue that arises out of a marriage. The exception to this is the divorce itself. This type of agreement can permanently settle spousal support claims, child support claims, child custody issues, and property division - all without the need of either party to ever step foot inside of a courtroom. These agreements are binding in law to both parties. In the long run, separation agreements can save spouses time and money during this stressful time.
  • Prenuptial agreements: Commonly referred to as a “prenup,” this agreement is entered into prior to marriage. A prenup details what will happen to each spouse’s property in the event of death or divorce. Notably, a prenup only goes into effect upon the marriage of the parties and state law requires they be in writing and signed by both parties. Prenups are becoming more and more popular; this trend is particularly true for couples who have had multiple marriages and want to ensure their property is reserved for children from a prior marital union. That being said, each prenup is tailored to the specific needs of each couple entering into the agreement.
  • Postnuptial agreements: Although they serve the same purpose as prenups, postnuptial agreements are entered into by a couple after getting married. Likewise, postnuptial agreements may prevent complicated misunderstandings in the event of the death of one spouse or divorce of the couple.
  • Free trader agreements: These contracts allow for one spouse to purchase property after separation without requiring him or her to place the other spouse’s name on the deed to the real estate. As a result, the purchasing spouse can keep the entire property interest as a separate obligation or asset.
Contract Disputes

Just like any other legally binding contract or agreement, the interpretation of family law contracts and agreements can result in disputes between the parties. Some reasons for disputes may include poorly drafted contracts, which can result in ambiguity and uncertainty about the parties’ rights and obligations. All of this can create impractical or unintended results and, ultimately, lead to litigation.

Family Law Contract Help in Marvin

As can be seen, there are many options for Marvin, North Carolina couples regarding family law contracts and agreements. These contracts can be tailored to a couple’s specific needs, before or after they are married. A little planning ahead of time can help reduce the stress, financial burden, and complications of divorce. If you are engaged to be married, currently separated, or facing divorce in Marvin, North Carolina, contact the skilled family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our firm has experienced representing clients in all types of family law matters throughout the state of North Carolina. Do not leave this important decision to chance; contact our firm today to schedule your initial case evaluation.