Bergen County NJ Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Family Lawyer with Offices in Hackensack, New Jersey
There are multiple trends that have contributed to the increase in prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements or “prenups,” in New Jersey. For instance, it is commonplace for both partners in a relationship to work outside of the home, many people get married later in life after establishing a career, and second and third marriages occur more frequently. When you enter into a marriage, you may have certain assets that you want to maintain as separate property, children from previous relationship, or other matters that you want to agree upon in advance, if for any reason your relationship status should change in the future. Prenuptial agreements can be a safe and effective way to avoid future conflict and to move forward with your marriage in a more secure position. At The Elfant Rickett Law Firm, our family law team regularly assists clients with premarital agreements that address a broad range of issues, including division of assets, spousal support, child custody, and more. Our firm’s founder, Rosa Rickett, has extensive experience with the process of preparing prenuptial agreements, as well as prenup enforcement. She serves as a trusted partner and guide, dedicated to helping each client achieve their unique goals. If you have questions regarding prenuptial agreement law in New Jersey, you are considering a prenup, or you are getting divorced and wondering about how your premarital agreement will affect the outcome, contact our offices in Hackensack at 201.968.5700 to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey prenuptial agreement attorney.
NJ Prenuptial Agreement Statute 37:2-32 – 37:2-41
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement Law is governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which was adopted in this state in 1988 and provides overarching regulations for premarital agreements. Specifically, premarital agreements are addressed in § 37:2-32 to 37:2-41, which defines a “premarital or pre-civil union agreement” as an agreement between prospective spouses or partners made in contemplation of marriage or a civil union and to be effective upon marriage or upon the parties establishing a civil union. Prenuptial agreements serve a variety of purposes and can be crafted to suit your specific needs. Many times, prenups address matters involving division of assets, child custody, child support, and/or alimony.
According to § 37:2-34, which outlines the potential contents of premarital agreements, parties to a premarital or pre-civil union agreement may include provisions in their prenup related to one or more of the following:
- 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, marital 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.
NOTE: a prenuptial agreement cannot adversely affect either parent’s right to child support should the marriage or civil union end.
Is a Premarital Agreement ever Considered Invalid?
There are certain circumstances under which a premarital agreement in New Jersey may be deemed invalid and thus, unenforceable. It is important to note that the person seeking to invalidate the prenup must prove through clear and convincing evidence that one of the following occurred:
- The party executed the agreement involuntarily;
- The party did not receive 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; or did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or
- The party did not consult with independent legal counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.
Can you Modify a Prenup after you are Married?
In New Jersey, a prenup takes effect immediately upon legal marriage. You can makes changes to a premarital agreement or revoke it entirely after you are married through a written agreement that must be signed by both parties.
Contact a Ridgewood NJ Premarital Agreement Lawyer for Additional Information
Prenuptial agreements can be a valuable tool for both partners but it essential to understand all of your rights and responsibilities before signing such a significant legal document. Both parties must consult independent legal counsel or waive their right to do so, which is highly unadvisable. Our practice is dedicated to family law matters and we are committed to ensuring that you are fully informed before making any decisions with regard to premarital agreements. If you are considering a prenup or you have questions about these agreements, contact us anytime to schedule a consultation with an NJ premarital agreement lawyer. We assist clients in Hackensack, Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Teaneck, Saddle River, and throughout Bergen County and New Jersey.