He’s asked for your hand in marriage and has professed his undying love! Dreams of wedding gowns and floral bouquets dance in your head. Then he breaks the news—he wants you to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Your first instinct might be to say, “I thought you loved me!” But you then try to see things from his point of view.
Most couples, when they say, “I do,” believe that their marriage will last “till death do them part.” The reality is, however, that in spite of the divorce rate leveling off, many marriages will end in divorce.
Prenuptial agreements have become more common in recent years. This is especially true when one of the spouses has personal or family assets to protect. Another important reason for having a prenup is to protect the interests of children from a previous relationship.
Assets to Protect
New Jersey prenuptial agreements are written to protect these and other assets:
- business assets,
- real estate and other property,
- other investment accounts,
- stocks and bonds,
- foreign assets,
- appreciation of assets,
- pensions, and
While more common when one or both partners have many assets, prenups can also help those with more limited assets as well. In addition to assets, these documents can address these and other issues:
- how to purchase a future home,
- possible modification or waiving of alimony,
- whether bank accounts will be separate or joint, and
- the drafting of a will to carry out all the provisions of the prenup.
FAQ’s About New Jersey Prenups
- Are oral agreements enforceable?
No, prenuptial agreements must be in writing. Oral agreements are not enforceable.
- Do I need an attorney?
It is best if each party has independent legal counsel. However, if you do not want to hire an attorney, you may sign a waiver stating that you give up that right. Like the prenup, this waiver must be in writing.
- My fiancé wants me to sign a prenuptial agreement. I am unclear about what his financial situation really is. I need this information in order to make my decision. What should I do?
In order for the agreement to be enforceable, your fiancé must provide you with a complete disclosure of all of his earnings, property and financial obligations.
- Can we include child support, child custody, or parenting issues in the agreement?
No, these issues are not considered in prenuptial agreements.
- My partner and I plan to live together but not get married. Can I have a prenup drafted to protect my interests?
No, prenups do not apply to these relationships. You should instead consider a New Jersey Cohabitation and Domestic Partnership Agreement.
- When does the document go into effect?
A prenup goes into effect as soon as the couple marries.
- Can an end date be included?
Yes, you can include a clause that includes an end date. For example, you might state that the prenup becomes void after five years of marriage.
No one wants to think about divorce when about to enter a marriage that both parties hope will last forever. Nevertheless, many marriages fail, and people with significant property holdings, businesses, family trusts, or other assets, should consider protecting those assets with a prenuptial agreement.
Learn Your Options!
Do you have questions about prenuptial agreements? If so, you should contact an experienced family law attorney. Attorneys at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., understand the legal requirements necessary to draft prenuptial agreements that will be binding in the event that the marriage fails. Contact us 24/7 at 800-537-4154.