Raleigh Divorce Lawyer educate: Prenuptial agreements and protecting assets

/// 06/10/2010

The North Carolina Family law firm of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt reports information on marriage and divorce rates for North Carolinians and present solutions to for make marriages work.

Spring is in the air, which means the wedding season is upon us. While couples are happily planning dinners and parties in celebration of their true love found at last, they must also plan for the future. In an age where second and third marriages are almost as common as first nuptials, protecting one’s assets is a common thought.

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, an independent source for information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the US and world, about half of North Carolina’s adult citizens are married. More precisely, 54 percent of NC men and 49 percent of NC women are married. The divorced population rests at 9 percent for men and 11 percent for women, qualifying the fact that second and third, or even forth and fifth marriages happen and are rising in occurrence. The same study shows that 6 percent of men and 5 percent of women in North Carolina are on their third or fourth marriage. (Information is based on data from the 2008 American Community Survey by the US Census Bureau.)

As with all marriages, each party brings assets to the table. If either party in the relationship has children from a previous marriage or relationship, a part in a family business or any other asset that may need protection from an unfortunate separation, a premarital agreement is a safe and equitable way to insure against the loss of such properties.

Other factors that typically require the consideration of a prenuptial agreement include the ownership of real estate, having over $50,000 worth of assets other than real estate, earning more than $100,000 a year and planning to pursue advanced education while the other spouse supports the union.

Prenuptial agreements can include issues such as retirement benefits, nonresponsibility of the other person’s debts, alimony, household bills, credit card charges, procedures for filing tax returns and even estate planning issues, such as providing for children from prior relationships.

This protection can provide comfort to both parties, helping each to know that, in the event of a separation or divorce, each party is protected. Discussing a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse can help to clarify issues that may be trickier later. It may even help qualify the need to keep a marriage strong, reminding the parties that a marriage is a partnership, to be regarded seriously, with binding contracts. It is something to be nurtured, grown and groomed to succeed. 

In a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center titled Modern Marriage, Americans reported the issues they thought were most important to making a marriage succeed. Third on the list, in order of importance, was sharing household chores. According to the results, 62 percent of adults stated that sharing chores is an important contributor to a successful marriage. It’s also on the heels of the second most important factor (according to the survey), a happy sexual relationship. The number one factor to a successful marriage was faithfulness.

Following the top three, in order of importance, were adequate income, good housing, shared religious beliefs, shared tastes and interests, children and agreement on politics.

 So if you’re one of the lucky-in-love couples planning to get married this spring, or any time in the future for that matter; looking into the marriage statistics may help you prepare for what is to come. While you may feel positive your union will last forever, be aware that approximately 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. With the median age for North Carolina couples marrying at 27 for men and 26 for women, it is understandable to not waste one’s youth on divorce battles.

So while you are planning guest seating and bar offerings, odds are that you should also see a family law attorney well versed in the nuances of premarital, pre-union and post marital arrangements. Be young, happy and in love, but be smart and know that not protecting yourself now could lead to your losses later. 

The family law office of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt can help you prepare your prenupyial agreement so that in the case of a divorce, your assets will be protected and the dissolution of marriage, should it occur can be as non-adversarial as possible. The highly respected attorneys of Gailo

r, Wallis and Hunt have dedicated their lives to helping couples plan for, and preserve their marriage and family, but are also dedicated to assisting them obtain a fair and equitable divorce when that is the only alternative.

GWH offers knowledge, skill and experience in the many areas of family law that is second to none.

Toll-Free: 866-666-1491

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