There's no denying that prenuptial agreements can be a touchy subject. After all, no one likes to think about what could happen if their marriage doesn't work out. But the reality is, drafting a strong prenup can provide peace of mind for both you and your spouse-to-be.
Keep reading for a review or prenup basics in New Jersey and a few tips to keep in mind when drafting your agreement.
Prenuptial Agreements 101
Prenuptial Agreements, or “prenups,” are becoming an increasingly popular choice for New Jersey couples. Created before marriage is finalized, prenups provide couples with a legal document that can protect both parties in the event of a divorce. Typically, a prenuptial agreement will specify what each spouse owns as separate property as well as how shared property should be distributed should the couple divorce. By signing a prenup prior to marriage, each party has peace of mind knowing their financial assets will remain secure should the marriage fail.
Under New Jersey law, prenups are generally enforceable if they meet two important criteria: there has been a full disclosure, and the prenup does not dramatically disadvantage one party in favor of the other.
What Should Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
When preparing for marriage, it is important to consider the financial aspects of a relationship, and a prenuptial agreement can help you do just that. It is important that couples discuss the assets and financial obligations they are bringing with them into the marriage. It is also worthwhile to discuss how you want to handle spousal support and asset division should the marriage end in divorce. Additionally, the agreement can include provisions for children you have from an earlier relationship.
Things to include in a prenuptial agreement:
- Any separate property and assets you have
- Any separate debts, mortgages, or financial obligations you have
- Specific property that you want to remain separate after marriage, such as business holdings
- Property or assets that you would like to convert to marital property upon marriage
- Estate plan concerns
- Explanation of agreed-upon marital responsibilities
Taking time to thoughtfully create a prenuptial agreement may save couples from costly legal battles down the road.
What Is Not Allowed in a Prenup?
While a prenup can have any clause agreed upon by each party, certain things cannot be included in a properly executed document. These include child custody and child support, as these matters are left to the courts. Additionally, any provisions that are illegal, defame either spouse or promote criminal activities cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement. It is important to always consult with an attorney when creating this legal document to ensure that any provisions are valid and within the law.
Starting the Conversation
Talking about money can be uncomfortable, especially when it comes to the topic of a prenuptial agreement. While it may seem intimidating to bring up the conversation, approaching the subject from a mutually beneficial standpoint and in a positive light can make the situation more comfortable for both parties.
Before entering into the conversation, do some research on what prenuptial agreements are and how they can benefit you and your future spouse. It's also important to ensure that each partner enters the discussion on an equal footing, including retaining their own legal representation. Doing so will help foster productive dialogue, clear communication, and compromise - all key elements to finding an agreement that works best for both of you.
Have more questions about drafting a prenuptial agreement? Contact the team at DeTommaso Law Group for guidance. We aim to provide every client with personalized legal representation that prioritizes their best interests.