Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are frequently used marital agreements which allow spouses to control their marriage and the terms of their potential divorce. However, not all prenuptial agreements are created equal. The state of New Jersey has a very specific set of guidelines which govern how legal marital agreements must be drafted, signed, and what terms may be included within. Prenuptial agreements may be challenged using a number of different strategies, which may lead to the child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets terms within to be dismissed.
Today, our prenuptial agreement attorney will discuss what is required for a prenuptial or other marital agreement to be legal in New Jersey and how these factors may lead to successfully contesting a written prenuptial agreement.
Unenforceable Prenuptial Agreements Attorney Westfield, NJ
As referenced in the introduction, all marital agreements such as prenuptial agreements must be written and signed in accordance with strict guidelines. If these guidelines were not followed, it may be possible to contest the validity of your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement down the line. If any of the following is true, your Westfield prenuptial agreement attorney may challenge your marital agreement:
- Your agreement is verbal. Non-written marital agreements are not enforceable in New Jersey unless they have been grandfathered in (speak to a Westfield divorce attorney for more details)
- One or both parties were not afforded the opportunity to work with and/or retain independent legal counsel. It is possible to waive the right to independent legal counsel, but that action must be documented in writing
- The financial assets of either party were not accurately disclosed before signing the agreement. Regardless of whether this error was intentional, it may be grounds to throw out your prenuptial, postnuptial, or other marital agreement
- Either party signed under threat of force or other means of coercion
- Either party was intoxicated or otherwise mentally unfit to sign a legal document at the time
Contesting Union County, NJ Marital Agreements
In order to contest a marital agreement with the help of a Union County matrimonial attorney, you must first understand the nature of your claim. In addition to the actions listed in the previous section which may cause a marital agreement to be unlawful, there are also limitations on the terms which may be enforced. For example:
Terms relating to child custody or child support may not be included in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. This is for a number of reasons, but boils down to the fact that these issues must be determined at the time they are needed, not before.
Overwhelmingly unfair or “unconscionable” terms will make most legal contracts illegal, and marital agreements are no exception. This may occur when the terms of your agreement are completely one-sided, unreasonable, or came about due to an unbalanced negotiation process.
Your Union County matrimonial law attorney may choose to contest a prenuptial agreement within a larger divorce proceedings or through an independent legal motion. A successful contestation of your prenuptial, postnuptial, cohabitation, or other marital agreement will either result in parts of the agreement being stricken or the entire contract being thrown out. At this point, you may choose to draft a new agreement or go through the normal legal process moving forward.
Need help Fighting an Unlawful Prenuptial Agreement? Call our Linden Marital Agreement Attorneys Today
Divorce and family law attorney Edward Cooper takes pride in serving families from local Union County communities including Union, Linden, Elizabeth, Westfield, Plainfield, Scotch Plains, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our law firm has assisted innumerable clients draft, enforce, modify, and challenge prenuptial and postnuptial agreements over decades of focused legal service. If you or a loved one believes your marital agreement may be unlawful, please contact us online or through our Linden, NJ offices today at (908) 481-4625 for a free and confidential consultation with our experienced and qualified legal team.