Oradell Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
If you are about to get married, you may wonder why you should consider what would happen if your marriage ended in divorce. The process of divorce can be complicated, especially when children, estates, and business owners are involved. A prenuptial agreement can help protect you and your assets should the day come when your marriage is no longer viable. While this may sound highly unromantic, negotiating such an agreement can provide trust, stability, and predictability during the life of your marriage.
At The Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC, we provide flat-fee services in this matter for our clients who are about to engage in the marital journey. If you and your future spouse can work together to come to acceptable financial and property terms for this agreement, we can help you create or review a contract that will meet your individual circumstances, needs, and goals.
Prenuptial Agreement Basics
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement or pre-civil union agreement, is a legally binding document that commonly includes provisions for the division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage.
The prenuptial agreement can cover any assets or property an individual brought into the marriage, as well as any assets which were acquired during the marriage. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the process of dividing property in a divorce may become arduous and contentious.
What Laws Govern Prenuptial Agreements?
In New Jersey, the enforceability and requirements of premarital agreements are outlined in the “Uniform Premarital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act” statute, or N.J.S.A. 37:2-31. This statute sets forth the formalities, contents, and requirements for the enforcement of a premarital agreement.
What Can and Cannot Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Parties to a premarital or pre-civil union agreement may create a contract concerning:
- The rights and obligations of each party in any property matter that was acquired or located at any time or place.
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, or otherwise engage in managing or controlling property.
- The disposition of property upon a separation, divorce, civil union dissolution, death of either party, or any other occurrence or non-occurrence of an event.
- The modification or elimination of spousal support or the support of one partner in a civil union.
- The creation of wills, trusts, or other financial arrangements needed to carry out the prenuptial agreement provisions.
- Ownership rights in and disposition of death benefits from life insurance policies.
- The choice of law governing the prenuptial agreement construction.
- Any other matter, including each party’s personal rights and obligations that do not violate public policy.
One aspect a couple cannot include in a prenuptial agreement is anything dealing with child custody or child support. In New Jersey, the courts will make all decisions related to custody and child support based on the best interest of the children. This means a couple cannot agree on custody of current or future children or the amount of child support.
When Does a Prenuptial Agreement Become Effective?
A premarital or pre-civil union agreement becomes effective upon the marriage of the parties or upon the parties establishing a civil union.
A prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if the party seeking to set aside the agreement proves that either (1) the party executed the agreement involuntarily, or (2) the agreement was “unconscionable” when it was executed.
Unconscionable factors can include:
- Failure to provide full and fair disclosure of all financial matters, including earnings, all property, and financial obligations.
- The right to full financial disclosure was not voluntarily waived and in writing.
- You did not have or reasonably could not have had sufficient knowledge of the other party’s assets, property, or financial obligations.
- You did not consult with your own independent counsel before signing or did not voluntarily waive your right to do so in writing.
Protect Your Property and Interests with a Prenuptial Agreement
If you are considering drafting a premarital or pre-civil union agreement, or your soon-to-be spouse has presented you with one, you need the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. At The Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC, we can help you decide exactly what you need, work with you to create an appropriate agreement, and help you understand how the agreement will impact you.
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