Generally, we don’t recommend a prenuptial agreement for couples that are getting married for the first time. The relatively small potential benefits of a prenuptial agreement are generally outweighed by the financial and emotional cost of planning for divorce as part of wedding preparations, especially under North Carolina law.
There are three situations, though, in which it can make a lot of sense to enter into a prenuptial agreement.
- This is your second marriage and you want to leave most of your estate to your children from a former marriage when you die
- You are marrying someone with whom you will own and operate a business
- You are a partner in a business with others
When one of these situations applies, then a prenuptial agreement can be very helpful as a key component of either estate planning or business planning.
Understandably, couples often neglect dealing with getting a prenuptial agreement, even when it could be very helpful in the long term. Couples worry that negotiating through lawyers to determine what will happen if they end up getting divorced will be corrosive to the relationship. And they are right to be concerned.
The good news is the collaborative process, which was designed to allow couples going through divorce to have difficult conversations and to reach legal agreements in a way that promotes respect, integrity, and kindness in divorce, can be adapted for prenup negotiations.
In the same way that the collaborative process provides a dignified and healthy approach to divorce, the collaborative process also provides a positive approach for couples preparing for their wedding day to work on a prenuptial agreement.
Contact us if you think you might benefit from a prenuptial agreement. We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss whether it makes sense in your situation.