Union County NJ Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Prenuptial agreements in New Jersey, also referred to as “premarital agreements” or “postnuptial agreements,” are legally-binding documents crafted among prospective spouses to delineate specific obligations and responsibilities that will take effect upon the commencement of the marriage. These contracts generally address issues involving finances, such as property divisions and alimony or spousal support payments, among others. With the complexity of these agreements and their long-lasting implications, it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney prior to drafting or signing a prenuptial agreement in order to ensure that your interests are thoroughly protected. Attorney Edward S. Cooper has assisted countless clients with prenuptial agreements and postnuptial settlements throughout his extensive tenure as a family law attorney in New Jersey. To discuss your situation and unique needs with Mr. Cooper, contact his Union County offices anytime at 908-481-4625.
Premarital Agreements in New Jersey
Under New Jersey’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which was implemented in 1988, valid prenuptial agreements must be outlined in writing, signed and executed by both spouses, and accompanied by a comprehensive statement of assets. The statement of assets serves as evidence that each spouse has disclosed his or her complete financial information. In order to modify or nullify a premarital agreement once the couple is married, a written contract must be signed by both parties agreeing to do so.
It is highly advisable to consult with an attorney prior to entering into a prenuptial agreement in order to ensure that your interests are thoroughly protected. If you choose not to do so, you must sign a statement expressing that you purposefully and voluntarily waived the right to legal representation.
What Can I Include in My Prenuptial Agreement?
“What can I address in this contract?” It is often the first question one asks when discussing the possibility of a prenuptial or premarital agreement. Generally, the most common issues addressed in premarital agreements include:
- 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;
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- The disposition of property upon separation, martial dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
- The modification or elimination of spousal support;
- The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy.
*Importantly, child custody and child support payments are generally outside of the purview of prenuptial agreements. These issues must be addressed upon dissolution of the marriage, with the primary consideration being the best interests of the child.
What May Make My Prenuptial Agreement Invalid in New Jersey?
There a variety of circumstances under which your premarital agreement may be deemed invalid and therefore, unenforceable under the law. Some of the typical grounds for challenging a prenuptial agreement include:
- The party executed the agreement involuntarily; or
- The agreement was unconscionable at the time enforcement was sought; or
- That party, before execution of the agreement:
- Was not provided full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property and financial obligations of the other party;
- 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;
- Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or
- Did not consult with independent legal counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.