New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement: Is It Enforceable in Court?
Getting married is a remarkable achievement in life, full of anticipation of a better future. But if you and your spouse have accumulated significant assets, it would be wise to draft a prenuptial agreement before marriage. It is a critical tool that helps you determine the fate of your assets and liabilities should anything go wrong with your wedding.
A prenup protects your assets and financial interests, besides safeguarding your property from being considered for equitable distribution. A legal prenup also explains your rights and obligations if you divorce.
Read on to understand the New Jersey prenuptial agreement and how drafting one can help you in the long run.
When Is a Prenup Ideal?
If you have significant financial assets to protect in marriage, you need a prenup. It enables you to make critical decisions regarding your finances, thus reducing court litigation during your marriage and later if you divorce.
Most importantly, a prenup in New Jersey is ideal if;
Why Do You Need a Prenup in New Jersey?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, so the law aims for a fair distribution of marital property in case of divorce. But when valuing property for equitable distribution, the courts may incorporate assets such as automobiles, marital homes, bank accounts, businesses, and pensions. Having a prenup means the court can have a reference point when you have to distribute wealth after a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement offers valuable perks to prospective couples. By signing up a contract with your future partner, you can have peace of mind, knowing your separate assets will remain your property even if you part ways.
If you have children from a previous marriage, you probably have a heritage for them. Signing a prenuptial contract lets you define what you wish to give your children. You would be at peace knowing that their inheritance won’t be part of the marital property when you divorce.
If you own significant wealth or your earnings supersede your spouse’s, you would want to retain the lion’s share of the property when you divorce. An agreement allows you to have a fair share of your hard-earned wealth.
In addition, if your spouse has significant debts before marriage, a prenup guarantees you financial security in the future. If you divorce or your partner dies suddenly, you will not be entirely responsible for the debt bill left behind.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable in New Jersey?
Like other legal documents, a premarital contract has no value if not enforceable under the law. New Jersey enacted an official version of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act in 1988. The revised statutes, Title 37, section 2-31, require all premarital contracts to meet certain conditions to be valid.
Both spouses should sign the agreement in writing and present it before marriage. In addition, both you and your spouse should attach a statement of your assets guaranteeing sufficient disclosure of your financial assets.
You should also retain independent legal counsel before entering the contract. If either spouse doesn’t have legal counsel, it should be evident in the agreement that the spouse willingly wavered the right to legal counsel.
Before signing a prenup, both spouses should have sufficient time to read and understand the agreement. There should be no evidence of deceit, manipulation, or coercion when signing the contract. A violation of the critical requirements of the prenuptial agreement may render it invalid or unenforceable.
Should the spouses wish to revise or revoke the terms of the contract, section 37:2-37 requires them to draft a separate document and include all the amendments in writing.
If you wish to sign a prenup, get a prenuptial agreement template for New Jersey today.