When you start out in your marriage, you and your spouse might consider that the union will not last and that you will have to split your property in a divorce. The two of you may promise each other that certain property is and will remain separate property even when it comes time to divorce. However, unless you have established a written legal agreement like a prenuptial agreement to divide your property, verbal promises will likely not mean anything.
USA Today explains the various problems that come without having a written agreement. Even if relations between you and your spouse are fine at the moment, there is no guarantee that a divorce will not make things ugly. Also, since spouses generally give up some assets or income revenue in a divorce, some spouses feel that they must go for anything they can get, which can include going back on earlier verbal promises or understandings.
A written legal agreement is also much more enforceable than spoken promises. North Carolina laws dictate how to divide up the assets of a divorcing couple, and sometimes those laws will overrule the stated wishes of one of the spouses. However, judges are much more likely to honor a prenuptial agreement. With a prenup, a couple can describe clearly which assets are separate property, removing a lot of the ambiguity that comes with verbal agreements.
Some couples neglect to sign a prenuptial agreement, but this does not mean they have no way to work out a written arrangement to divide their assets. Married couples can still fill out a postnuptial agreement to designate property as separate property. While a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial one will still receive scrutiny by a court to determine its overall fairness toward the spouses, it can benefit couples by clearly spelling out their property division wishes.