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Post-Nuptial Agreements

Husbands and wives can contract with each other during the marriage with respect to matters that are not inconsistent with public policy. The courts a have determined that a contract made during the marriage which waives the right of a dependent spouse to support from his or her spouse is void as against public policy.

However, the law does permit spouses to contract with each other with respect to the disposition of both their real and personal property acquired during the marriage. §52-10 of the North Carolina General Statutes permits husbands and wives to release and quitclaim rights that they might acquire during the marriage in the property of the other, with or without valuable consideration.

However, for the contract to be valid for a period of more than three years it must be in writing and acknowledged before a certifying officer such as a notary public, or a justice, judge, magistrate, clerk, assistant clerk or deputy clerk of the General Court of Justice.

Post-nuptial agreements are often used in situations where spouses separate and then intend to reconcile. As they are still married, § 52-10 would apply to their agreement.