NJ Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

     Premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial  agreements, are contracts between spouses that may detail various rights and expectations both during a marriage and in the event of divorce.  They are most commonly used to determine how property will be distributed in divorce.  The law regarding them is complex and you should contact a NJ Prenup Lawyer before creating, signing, or disputing such an agreement.

What can prenups do?

Premarital agreements are governed by the New Jersey Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, embodied in Statute 37:2-34.  These agreements do have limitations and generally cannot fully leave a spouse empty handed as discussed below. 

Parties to a premarital or pre-civil union agreement may contract with respect to:

a. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

b. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

c. The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, dissolution of a civil union, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;

d. The modification or elimination of spousal or one partner in a civil union couple support;

e. The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;

f. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;

g. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and

h. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What must be contained in a prenup?

There are numerous items that must, by law, be included as part of the agreement.  These can include a full disclosure and statement of assets, signatures of both parties, names and addresses of parties, waive the need of counsel if not represented by an independent attorney, etc.  Call a NJ Premarital Agreement Lawyer, here, for a full discussion about prenups.

What can’t they do? 

Child support can never be contracted away or modified, as it is a right of the child.

Can I change it after marriage?

Yes, you can modify the agreement after the actual marriage.  The same requirements apply however.

Is there a way to invalidate a premarital agreement?

If it is demonstrated that one party to the agreement was forced or coerced into the agreement it can be thrown out.  Also if the agreement was unconscionable due to one of the following:

A. The agreement was not executed voluntarily; or

B. The agreement was unconscionable.  This means that one party, due to a lack of property or employability would: (1) render that spouse without a means of reasonable support; (2) make that spouse into a public charge (requiring substantial governmental assistance); (3)allow for only a standard of living that is far below that enjoyed during the marriage; or

C. If a party to the agreement:

(1) Was not provided full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property and financial obligations of the other party;

(2) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided;

(3) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or

(4) Did not consult with independent legal counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.

If any of these apply to you, call today to speak with a NJ Family Lawyer to discuss Alimony, Property Distribution, and Prenuptual Agreements.  Our Matrimonial Attorneys offer free consultations.

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