Prenuptial Agreement Assistance in Spartanburg South Carolina
Despite the common misconception that prenuptial agreements are a fast track to ending an engagement, they often enhance marital satisfaction and can sometimes even prevent divorces. In the unfortunate event of a breakup, having a prenuptial agreement in place simplifies the divorce process. The conditions for such agreements vary from state to state.
If you’re contemplating a prenuptial contract, it’s crucial to understand what makes an agreement enforceable in South Carolina and what assets can be protected.
Prenuptial agreements are contracts created before marriage by the soon-to-be spouses. These agreements outline the division of property, assets, and debts both during the marriage and in the event of death or divorce.
It’s important to note that for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must be written and signed by both parties and there must be a full disclosure by both parties of their assets. Should the marriage not take place, the prenuptial agreement will not be enforceable
The terms of prenuptial agreements can vary greatly. However, most will address issues that a judge would ordinarily decide in the event of a divorce. These might include:
- The rights of each spouse to separate or marital property.
- The rights to buy, sell, transfer, dispose of, or rent property individually or as a couple.
- The division of assets and debts upon death or divorce.
- Entitlement to alimony in the event of divorce.
- The rights to ownership and management of a family business upon death or divorce.
- Entitlement to death benefits from the other’s insurance policy.
These agreements don’t require notarization or witnesses to be valid, unlike wills. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can be revised as long as the changes are documented in writing and signed by both spouses. Child related matters, including custody and child support, cannot be resolved through a prenuptial agreement though. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement may be set aside, either fully or in part, if it results in one of the spouses becoming dependent on state or federal welfare programs.
Enforcing a Prenuptial Agreement in South Carolina
South Carolina has not adopted the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), so premarital contracts are governed by state statutes and case law. Basic contract rules apply to prenuptial agreements, meaning an agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties to be enforceable. A prenuptial agreement only takes effect after a couple marries; if the marriage does not take place, the agreement is void.
Most prenuptial agreements will be upheld by a court if they are reasonably fair, signed voluntarily, and include a full and fair disclosure of each spouse’s assets and liabilities. Each spouse should have a fairly accurate understanding of the other’s financial situation, though perfect understanding is not required. If one spouse hides their assets, however, the agreement may be determined to be void.
Prenuptial agreements can be complex and challenging to navigate. If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement or have additional questions, reach out to our experienced family law attorneys at Sentinel Law Firm for advice and a discussion about possible routes to protecting your future.
Our Spartanburg Family Law Practice Areas
Help planning and creating prenuptial agreements
Navigating the process of divorce in South Carolina
Assistance in Child Custody Matters in South Carolina
Establishing fair support for children in divorced families
Understanding Spousal Support in South Carolina
Prenuptial Agreements in Spartanburg South Carolina
Prenuptial agreements cannot predetermine child support and custody arrangements. Any decision regarding child custody will be made by a judge based on the child’s best interests at the time of the parents’ separation or divorce.
If a prenuptial agreement contains provisions about child custody or support, those provisions will be disregarded by the judge, though the rest of the agreement may still be valid.
South Carolina recognizes prenuptial agreements as a contract, so fairness and making sure it’s drafted correctly is essential. The agreement is presumed to be balanced and just if both individuals involved have separate independent legal representation and they both disclose their financial details completely and accurately.
No, while more than half the country (including North Carolina and Florida) currently follows the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), South Carolina has not adopted the UPAA. The laws and regulations concerning prenuptial agreements in South Carolina are based on statutes and case law.
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