Premarital agreements, often referred to as prenuptial agreements, have become increasingly common in today’s society. In North Carolina, these agreements are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which the state adopted, applicable to agreements executed on or after July 1, 1987. These agreements, signed by parties before marriage, outline what will occur in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.

One notable aspect of premarital agreements is that they do not require the exchange of consideration, unlike traditional contracts. This departure from common contract law principles signifies North Carolina’s stance in family law, where both premarital and separation agreements are exempt from the requirement of consideration.

However, for a premarital agreement to be valid under the UPAA, it must meet certain criteria. Firstly, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Additionally, marriage is a prerequisite for the agreement to become effective, meaning that if the marriage does not occur, the agreement is not valid.

These agreements can address various aspects, including the disposition of property upon divorce, control over property rights and obligations, barring of alimony and postseparation support under specific circumstances, and even influencing the making of a will or trust. Moreover, premarital agreements can impact ownership rights in life insurance policies and designate the applicable law governing the agreement.

It’s crucial to note that premarital agreements can be challenged under certain circumstances. While these agreements provide clarity and security for couples entering into marriage, they are not immune to scrutiny. Understanding the intricacies of premarital agreements and ensuring they meet legal requirements is essential to their enforceability. For example, a premarital agreement may not establish child support or child custody.

For individuals in North Carolina seeking guidance on premarital agreements, North Carolina family law attorney Scott Allen offers expertise in drafting, negotiating, and litigating such agreements. With over thirty years of experience, Scott Allen can provide the necessary assistance and address any questions or concerns regarding premarital agreements. For inquiries, contact Scott Allen at (919) 863-4183 or via email at

In conclusion, premarital agreements play a significant role in establishing the rights and obligations of parties entering into marriage in North Carolina. Understanding the legal framework and requirements surrounding these agreements is essential for couples seeking to protect their interests and assets.