New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
Representing Individuals & Business Owners Across Marlton & Northfield
Getting married is one of the most important decisions that a couple can make. When one or both individuals are bringing significant assets or debts to the marriage, careful consideration should be taken to protect each party. This is especially true if one partner owns a business or has significant interests in other types of investments. To avoid major disputes in the future, many couples use a prenuptial agreement to address the distribution of their marital assets and debts should the marriage be dissolved at a later date.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a type of contract that addresses how assets and liabilities will be handled in the event of a separation or divorce. These types of pre-marriage agreements become effective when the marriage takes place.
Some of the issues that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement include:
- Rights and obligations concerning real estate, such as the right to sell or lease property (including property that was acquired before or during the marriage)
- The modification or elimination of alimony / spousal support
- How spouses will be handled in each other’s wills
- Distribution of life insurance proceeds
- Any other matter, including the setting forth of personal rights and obligations, that does not violate New Jersey public policy
New Jersey law does not permit a prenuptial agreement to set forth arrangements concerning child custody or child support. These issues will be decided by a New Jersey judge or court under the “best interest of the child” standard.
What Are the Benefits of Filing a Prenuptial Agreement?
Properly drafted prenuptial agreements can help couples of all backgrounds cope with some of the hardest issues during the divorce process. All divorces involve some degree of stress, but the presence of a prenuptial agreement can provide both parties with a certainty that can alleviate some of the emotional distress.
When a couple has a prenuptial agreement in place, the divorce process can conclude much quicker, as parties do not have to resort to going through a lengthy court battle to resolve financial issues. Couples who have a prenuptial agreement in place may also save a significant amount of money in legal fees and other expenses associated with divorce.
For business owners, a prenuptial agreement can protect your interest because it allows you to:
- Establish the value of the business at the time of marriage
- Determine what will happen with the appreciation or depreciation of the business after you are married
- Instruct how to value the business
- Specify a percentage of the business your spouse is entitled to if you divorce
- Leave specific details for how the income earned from your business will be handled
Draft a Comprehensive Prenuptial Agreement Today
Drafting a premarital agreement without the assistance of an experienced family lawyer can be complicated. A valid prenuptial agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and include a formal Statement of Assets.
An improperly drafted Statement of Assets, which does not include a fair and reasonable disclosure of all financial information, can result in an invalidation of the entire prenuptial agreement. For this reason, and to avoid any appearance that a party did not knowingly enter into the prenuptial agreement, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before entering into this type of agreement.
Can I Change a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can be changed after the couple has been married. These changes must be made in writing, and both parties must sign the amended agreement – including an acknowledgement of any new additions to the asset list or changes to existing provisions.
We Help Clients Challenge Prenuptial Agreements
New Jersey passed the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which governs the law of prenuptial agreements. If a spouse can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the prenuptial agreement was entered into involuntarily, or under false pretenses, a New Jersey court may find that the agreement is unenforceable. Courts also will void any prenuptial agreement that is found to be “unconscionable” due to its grossly unreasonable nature.
From our offices in Marlton & Northfield, our attorneys are ready to assist you.
Whether you need assistance in drafting a comprehensive and enforceable prenuptial agreement or challenging an existing prenuptial agreement, our firm has the experience and resources you need to pursue a favorable result. To schedule your free consultation, call 856-751-5505 today.