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Prenuptial agreement

What Should Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

In New Jersey, premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, help a couple define their rights and obligations before marriage. This might include what division of property and spousal support will be in the event of a divorce or separation. When drafted properly, these agreements protect a couple’s financial interests and reduce some of the stresses of getting divorced. Today, we will review what you should include in a prenuptial agreement.

What Issues Are Addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement in New Jersey?

The following issues can be addressed in a New Jersey prenuptial agreement:

  • Each spouse’s rights and obligation so joint and separate property
  • Right to buy, transfer, sell, control, use, exchange, abandon, lease, and/or dispose of property
  • Modification or elimination of spousal support
  • Division of property after divorce, separation, and/or death
  • Creation of a will, trust, or other agreement
  • Ownership rights to death benefits from a life insurance policy
  • Any other matter, including personal right and obligations (if there is no violation of public policy)

Are There Any Limitations on Prenuptial Agreements in New Jersey?

You cannot include any information related to your children, including child support payments and how custody will be determined in a prenuptial agreement. These issues are usually decided by the court based off the best interests of the child standard. Doing so would go against public policy.

What Are the Requirements to Establish a Valid Prenup?

According to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), all premarital agreements must follow these requirements:

  • Be in writing
  • Signed by both spouses
  • Include a statement of assets

The statement of assets ensures fair and reasonable disclosure of the couple’s financial information. The premarital agreement can be modified or revoked with a written agreement signed by both spouses. It would be in your best interests to consult with an experienced attorney before establishing a premarital agreement to ensure your rights and interests are protected.

Can a Premarital Agreement Be Contested?

The court will find a premarital agreement unconscionable if it is proven that the challenging spouse would be without reasonable support, would need to depend on public benefits, or be reduced to a standard of living below what he/she was accustomed to before marriage. To contest a prenuptial agreement, one spouse must show with proof that:

  • One or both spouses executed the agreement involuntarily
  • The agreement was unconscionable when it was signed
  • A full and fair disclosure of earnings, assets, property, and financial obligations of each spouse was not communicated
  • One spouse did not consult with a lawyer and did not waive the opportunity for counsel
  • One spouse did not waive any right to the disclosure of property or financial obligations of the other beyond what was disclosed
  • One spouse did not have adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other

For assistance with a premarital agreement, contact our firm online or by calling (908) 259-6673 today.