Family Law Contracts and Agreements

The Family Law Department of Arnold & Smith, PLLC has extensive experience drafting, negotiating, and enforcing countless varieties of contracts and agreements for individuals. Whether you are anticipating an engagement, preparing for a separation, or seeking a divorce, our experienced Family Law attorneys have the knowledge and skill to protect your assets and rights through the transition. If you are in need a new contract drafted or have questions regarding the implications of an existing agreement, do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to discuss your options with a skilled and experienced attorney.

Separation Agreements

Under North Carolina law, a married couple must be separated for one year before filing for divorce. That year-long wait, of course, can be troublesome. When spouses have irreconcilable differences, they often have difficulty agreeing on very personal, emotionally-charged issues such as alimony, child custody, child support, and division of property following the separation. A Separation Agreement and Property Settlement is a contract entered into by spouses which addresses these issues. These contracts preemptively address contentious issues and help avoid uncertainty, reduce conflict, and prevent costly litigation.

A Separation Agreement can contain stipulations regarding nearly any issue arising out of the marriage, except for the divorce itself. This Agreement can permanently settle property division, spousal support claims, child support claims, and child custody issues without either party ever having to step foot into a courtroom. For these reasons, it is recommended that couples intending to separate contact attorneys and discuss the possibility of drafting a Separation Agreement. These Agreements are binding in law and, with appropriate negotiations and compromises, can save separating spouses an enormous amount of time and money in the long run. If you and your spouse are separated or contemplating separation, contact our office today to discuss your options.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, or "pre-nup," is an agreement that a couple may choose to enter into prior to marriage. These agreements detail what will happen to each spouse's property in the event of death or divorce and only come into effect upon marriage of the parties. Prenuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for spouses entering into a second or third marriage, who want to ensure that their property is reserved for their children from a prior marriage. However, each agreement is unique and tailored specifically to each couple. Therefore, the talented lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC focus on your specific circumstances to create a contract meeting your exact needs.

Prenuptial agreements must comply with the Premarital Agreement Act under N.C. General Statute S 52B. Among other requirements set forth by the act, the Prenuptial Agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and become effective upon the marriage of the couple. If you are contemplating a prenuptial agreement, contact our office today to discuss your options.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose as prenuptial agreements but are entered into by the couple after marriage. Like Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements can prevent complicated misunderstandings in the event of divorce or death of one of the spouses. If you are contemplating a postnuptial agreement, contact our office today to discuss your options.

Free Trader Agreements

Free Trader Agreements allow one spouse to purchase property after separation without placing the other spouse's name on the deed. In other words, the purchasing spouse is able to keep the entire property interest as a separate asset or obligation. These agreements can have enormous value for separating spouses. If you are interested in learning more about entering into a Free Trader Agreement, contact our office today.

Contract Disputes:

Like any contract or agreement, the interpretation and application of Family Law Contracts and Agreements can lead to disputes. Poorly drafted contracts can cause uncertainty, create impractical results, and lead to litigation. As such, if you have any questions regarding the rights, duties, and obligations that an existing contract or agreement creates, do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today. Our experienced team of contract attorneys and litigators will work to protect your interests, negotiate favorable outcomes, and if necessary, fiercely advocate on your behalf in court.


North Carolina Statute governing Prenuptial Agreements