How Can I Modify or Revoke My Premarital or Prenuptial Agreement?

I have been asked this question many time over my years of practice:  “I signed a premarital agreement, got married, and now don’t want it; how can I make it go away?”  The answer provided by G.S. § 52B-6 and case law on the issue is that the premarital agreement act in North Carolina provides that a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked after marriage only by a written agreement signed by the parties.

If you want to get out of your prenuptial agreement you need to sit down with your spouse and talk about it.  If he or she does not agree to change it or make it go away, your only choice is to see if you can get the agreement to be declared invalid.

Also, under certain circumstances a party who does not want to be bound by a premarital agreement can prove that it is unenforceable by showing:  (1) The party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; (2) The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement, the party:

  • Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
  • Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
  • Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

As you can see, the issue of disclosure in a premarital agreement should get close attention by you and your lawyer.

It is also very important not to “spring” a premarital agreement on your fiancé just before the wedding.  Not only would doing that likely spoil your relationship with your fiancé, it could create an argument about duress.  Also, to protect the integrity of the agreement, you and your fiancé should have different lawyers.

Family law attorney Scott Allen negotiates and drafts premarital agreements and has over seventeen years of experience.  If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.