The North Carolina Premarital Agreement Act: What You Need to Know

Getting married is an exciting endeavor, but it can also be a complicated one. With so many legalities involved, it`s important to understand your rights and obligations before tying the knot. One of the things you should consider is a premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or simply a «prenup.» In North Carolina, premarital agreements are governed by the North Carolina Premarital Agreement Act (NCPAA).

What is the NCPAA?

The NCPAA is a set of rules that apply to premarital or prenuptial agreements in North Carolina. It outlines what terms can and cannot be included in a premarital agreement and sets standards for how they should be executed and enforced. The NCPAA was enacted in 1985 and has since been amended several times.

What can be included in a premarital agreement in North Carolina?

According to the NCPAA, a premarital agreement can cover a wide range of issues, including but not limited to:

– The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, or dispose of property

– The division of property in case of divorce, separation, or death

– The right to spousal support or alimony

– The creation of a will, trust, or other estate planning documents

However, there are some limitations to what can be included in a premarital agreement. For instance, the NCPAA prohibits agreements that attempt to limit a child`s right to support or that violate public policy or criminal law. Additionally, the agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time of execution and must not become unconscionable at the time of enforcement.

Who can enter into a premarital agreement in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, any two adults who are legally able to marry can enter into a premarital agreement. This can include same-sex couples, as same-sex marriage has been legal in North Carolina since 2014. However, both parties must voluntarily agree to the terms of the agreement and must not be under duress or coercion at the time of execution.

How to create a premarital agreement in North Carolina?

To create a valid premarital agreement in North Carolina, both parties must:

– Enter into the agreement voluntarily, without fraud, duress, or undue influence

– Fully disclose their assets, debts, income, and obligations to each other

– Have the opportunity to consult with an attorney or waive that right in writing

– Sign the agreement in front of a notary public or other authorized official

It`s important to note that both parties should have their own separate attorneys to ensure that the agreement is fair and that their individual rights are protected.


A premarital agreement can be a valuable tool for couples who want to protect their assets and clarify their rights and obligations before marriage. However, it`s essential to create a valid and enforceable agreement that complies with the NCPAA. If you`re considering a premarital agreement, it`s recommended to consult with an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.