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Property Settlement Agreement’s and Public Policy


North Carolina courts will enforce any property agreement that is not in violation of public policy. As a general rule, any provision in a property settlement agreement that modifies the normal duties and responsibilities that arise from marriage are against public policy. For example, a provision that affects the duty of the supporting spouse to support the dependent spouse may be voided because the duty to support a spouse arises from the marital relationship.

North Carolina courts have found that a provision by a husband to give half his interest in his new home was void because the wife has a marital duty to go with the husband to the home of his choice. Should a property settlement agreement contain a provision that encourages a future separation or divorce, it will be contrary to public policy. For example, if a provision says that if husband shall ever leave wife, everything husband owns becomes hers will be void. However, much of these situations described above were decided by North Carolina courts before the enactment of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. A court may decide these cases differently. A nuanced understanding of the law is required.