North Dakota Prenuptial Agreement: What Are the Signing Requirements?
Whenever people enter marriage, they are almost sure that everything will be fine. Often, it is unthinkable for couples to anticipate court litigation and splitting property due to differences in marriage. But sometimes, happy moments come to an end, with each couple scrambling for a share of the assets.
Prenuptial agreements define the rules of property sharing between partners. Each couple enters a union knowing their financial obligations from daily expenses, debts, real estate, and joint property.
Understanding your state's policies is critical, with different states having different guidelines for prenuptial agreements. Here we examine the requirements of premarital contracts in North Dakota state.
North Dakota Prenup: Overview and Signing Requirements
North Dakota is among the majority of states that subscribe to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The state’s century code enshrines the rules under sections 14-03.2-01 to 14-03.2-11.
Under the century code, a premarital contract involves two parties who intend to marry. The contract guarantees each spouse’s rights during the marriage and when it ends due to death or divorce. The law further allows couples to use a prenuptial arrangement to bypass court battles that could be costly and time-consuming when dissolving their marriage.
According to section 14-03.2-05, both partners should sign the written document before the agreement, and partners do not require witnesses or notaries.
What Can a Prenup Cover in North Dakota?
A prenup addresses couples' roles, rights, and obligations in managing property and finances. In addition, the agreement allows a provision for spousal support after divorce or separation. However, a child’s support and custody are exempt from influence by a prenuptial agreement.
Here is a breakdown of what prenups may cover:
- The rights to spousal support
- Distribution of assets and property during divorce or death of either spouse
- Obligation to pay your spouse’s debts and liabilities
- Education and retirement funds
- The rights to manage the marital or separate property
- The rights to retirement benefits
Despite the content of the premarital agreement, North Dakota allows couples to amend their agreement as necessary. However, if you wish to amend your prenup, be sure to write and have it signed by you and your spouse.
North Dakota Prenup: Enforcement and Validity
According to section 14-03.2-06 of the century code, a North Dakota prenuptial agreement is enforceable if both parties sign and present it in writing. It becomes effective once the couple enters a civil union.
Despite being enforceable, a valid premarital agreement can still be void if it fails to meet certain legal obligations.
Section 14-03.2-08 states that both parties should sign the contract willingly. If the court finds evidence of involuntary signing, the contract may be void.
Before signing, the couples should have fair legal representation from separate attorneys. If a couple doesn’t have legal representation, there should be a waiver of the right to legal representation, without which the document will be void.
A premarital agreement should also show both parties' full disclosure of financial information, including assets and liabilities. If either party sufficiently fails to disclose financial information, the act may void the agreement.
Moreover, a North Dakota prenup should be fair to both spouses, yielding favorable results. For instance, during a divorce, a partner who depends on the state for financial help may request the court to overturn the alimony clause on the contract.
An enforceable legal contract meets all requirements highlighted in North Dakota's century code. Nonetheless, specific terms are non-permissible and may be set aside by the court if they are part of the contract.
Section 14-03.2-09 highlights as follows:
- Subjecting your spouse to a penalty for filing a divorce
- Altering a separation ordered by the court
- Limiting your child’s rights to support
- Limiting your spouse’s rights to justice following domestic violence
Do you wish to draft a premarital contract in North Dakota? Here’s a printable prenuptial agreement form for you.