Marriage is a time of happiness and jubilation; however, about half of marriages end in divorce. While most couples do not want to envision divorce, it is important and sensible for each couple to protect all individual assets acquired before the marriage. A prenuptial agreement is the most common way to protect your assets and know your rights ahead of marriage. A prenuptial agreement ensures that your assets are not subject to equitable distribution in the event your marriage dissolves.
One of the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement is, in the unfortunate case of divorce, the ability to avoid a lengthy divorce battle with your spouse. By predetermining the division of assets before marriage, divorcing couples find themselves litigating far less.
A valid prenuptial agreement will be used to protect your:
For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must meet certain specific requirements. These include:
If the prenuptial agreement does not meet these specific criteria, it is not valid in the state of New Jersey.
It is important to understand that any prenuptial agreement can be challenged at a later time. It is critical to have the prenuptial agreement properly prepare and signed in advance and not on the eve of the marriage. In June 2013, a bill was signed in New Jersey to increase the enforceability of prenuptial agreements. The bill removes a statement that uses the word “unconscionable”, meaning against all reason. The bill is meant to make sure those who sign prenuptial agreements think about every and any possible outcome of their marriage. By doing so, the agreements are made with more thought behind them and therefore are easier to enforce. Enforcing prenuptial agreements can be an issue and this bill seeks to address it as much as possible. Keep in mind we can only represent one party. The other party needs to have their own counsel. If you and your spouse are considering, or are currently in the process of drafting a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you seek legal advice. Seeking and obtaining legal advice while drafting a prenuptial agreement ensures that the agreement provides each person with as much defense as possible in the event of divorce. We often handle these matters as flat fee charges. We can prepare the prenuptial agreement after discussing all of your assets and liabilities and have a great deal of experience doing so.