Exploring Your Options

I have been asked this question many times over my years of practice:  “I signed a premarital agreement, got married, and now don’t want it; how can I make it go away?”  The answer provided by G.S. § 52B-6 and case law on the issue is that the premarital agreement act in North Carolina provides that a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked after marriage only by a written agreement signed by the parties.

Open Communication with Your Spouse

If you want to get out of your prenuptial agreement you need to sit down with your spouse and talk about it.  If he or she does not agree to change it or make it go away, your only choice is to see if you can get the agreement declared invalid.

Invalidating the Agreement

Also, under certain circumstances, a party who does not want to be bound by a premarital agreement can prove that it is unenforceable by showing:

Lack of Voluntary Execution

(1) The party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; (2) The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement, the party:

Inadequate Disclosure

  • Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
  • Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
  • Did not have, or reasonably could not have, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

As you can see, the disclosure issue in a premarital agreement should get close attention from you and your lawyer.

Timing and Legal Counsel

It is also vital not to “spring” a premarital agreement on your fiancé just before the wedding.  Not only would doing that likely spoil your relationship with your fiancé, but it could also create an argument about duress.  Also, to protect the integrity of the agreement, you and your fiancé should have different lawyers.


Causes To Changed or Revoked a Prenuptial Agreement

  • Don’t Want It Anymore – The partners decide they no longer want a prenuptial agreement
  • Property Allocation – The couple wants to redistribute their property allocation
  • Further Property to Be Added – A spouse acquires additional property that was not included in the original agreement
  • Children – The couple has children that must be accounted for in the contract.

Family law attorney Scott Allen negotiates and drafts premarital agreements and has over seventeen years of experience.  If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.