A prenuptial agreement—also known as a premarital agreement—is a binding contract between two consenting adults before they enter into a marriage. Typically, a premarital agreement covers the ownership of certain assets and the treatment of financial matters during a marriage. However, there are some issues that cannot be agreed upon in a prenuptial agreement under New Jersey law.
New Jersey Law on Prenuptial Agreements
An enforceable prenuptial agreement must conform to the following legal requirements under New Jersey statutory law:
- The agreement must be in writing
- The agreement must include a statement of both parties’ assets
- Both parties must sign the agreement
Although it is not required to form a valid, legally enforceable prenuptial agreement, the parties should retain independent legal counsel before signing. This means that each party has their own lawyer who will review the provisions of the agreement to make sure it does not unnecessarily prejudice parties.
A valid prenuptial agreement takes effect as soon as the parties get married.
Issues Contained in a Prenuptial Agreement
In general, the law gives prospective newlyweds broad authority to negotiate and agree to whatever terms they see fit in a prenuptial agreement. New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 37:2-36 recognizes that a prenuptial agreement can cover the following issues:
- The spouses’ rights to any property they own
- The right use, buy, sell, or otherwise transfer their rights to property
- Who will ultimately be entitled to specific property or assets when the marriage ends (through death or divorce)
- The modification or termination of spousal support obligations
- The establishment of a will, trust, or other instruments necessary to execute the agreement
- The rights of the parties regarding death or survivor benefits under a life insurance policy
- The law governing the agreement’s terms
- Other matters that aren’t contrary to public policy
Contact Lane & Lane, LLC for More Information
New Jersey law regarding divorce or other family law issues is extensive—including legal matters involving the enforceability of marital agreements. If you have any further questions about your legal rights when it comes to prenuptial agreements in New Jersey, you should reach out to Lane & Lane, LLC.
Please call us at (908) 259-6673 or contact our office online for a case evaluation today.