Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer in Hunterdon County
How to Get a Prenup in New Jersey
While no one likes to think of the possibility of their marriage ending as it’s just beginning, there are a number of divorce statistics regarding American marriages that make it perfectly reasonable to at least be prepared in the event that your marriage dissolves. We know that this can be a tricky subject, but in any case, you want to make sure that your way of life is protected whether your union is a success or not, and our firm is here to help.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement that a couple will establish and sign before getting married. The agreement stipulates how assets and liabilities will be divided between the couple in case they separate or divorce. The reason for a prenuptial agreement is to minimize the hassle of divorce proceedings should that become a reality.
Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement in New Jersey
While prenuptial agreements are commonly used, each state has its own requirements regarding them. In New Jersey, based on the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) of 1988, the requirements are as follows:
- Must be a written agreement
- Must have the signature of both spouses
- Full disclosure of the financial information of both spouses
- Changes to the agreement are only permissible if both parties give written consent
- Legal counsel is not required, but if the parties choose not to have it, then there must be formal documentation indicating they have waived the option
- The agreement is effective upon marriage
It is important to hire an attorney if you and your future spouse are considering a prenuptial agreement. This will ensure that your agreement complies with the applicable laws and will be valid if ever used. A lawyer will help you avoid costly mistakes that will impact your future.
What can be included in a prenuptial agreement?
The obvious answer would be your assets. Most individuals seek a prenup to protect their assets, whether they are in the form of real estate, investments, bank accounts, or any other significantly valuable pieces of property. While these are important in a prenuptial agreement, they aren’t the only things that can be included.
Prenuptial agreements are also useful for the following:
- Separating marital and individual assets
- Ensuring that children of previous relationships are taken care of
- Protecting oneself from their soon-to-be spouse’s debts
- Establishing the division of property in the event of a divorce
- Detailing the financial responsibilities of each spouse during the marriage
- Ensuring that the wishes in your estate plan are carried out as you see fit
- Ensuring that your assets and property remain in your family
Of course, just as there are matters that can be included in your prenuptial agreement, there are things that cannot be included in them legally. Hiring a Hunterdon County family law attorney can ensure that you are not taken advantage of. If one piece of the prenuptial agreement is illegal, it could compromise the entire document.
Prenuptial agreements cannot legally do any of the following:
- Account for property that is illegal or illegally obtained
- Make an arrangement for child custody or child support
- Allow one spouse to waive the right to alimony or spousal support
- Provide incentive or encouragement for a divorce
- Make arrangements for personal instead of financial matters
As far as the last bullet point is concerned, it essentially means that things like who takes out the garbage or who does the dishes cannot be included into a prenuptial agreement, because they are not significant enough and are not really even able to be enforced. You can, however, make financial arrangements for things like attending school.
Can you avoid alimony with a prenup?
The short answer is yes. If you have assets that you wish to be protected in the unfortunate event of divorce, then one of the best ways to ensure this is by formulating a prenuptial agreement. To avoid any risk or mistakes when drafting the prenup, make sure that it clearly states that there will be no award of spousal support to your ex in the event you divorce.
Can a prenuptial agreement be broken?
Prenuptial agreements aren’t set in stone, especially if they are drafted incorrectly. There are several factors that can void a prenup:
- Timing – Many states have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which requires both parties to sign a prenup well before a wedding.
- Unfair Provisions – It is not uncommon for a judge to rule that one or more terms of the prenup are unfair, which tend to not hold up in court.
- Duress – If one of the party members was under pressure to sign, he or she can imply that the signing was not under their control.