New Jersey couples can enter into an agreement before they marry to set clear boundaries regarding separate and marital property. Prenuptial agreements – or premarital agreements as they are called in New Jersey – can prevent many conflicts in the future if the couple divorces or if one of the spouses dies.
How do premarital agreements work?
Before marriage, a couple can draft a written agreement that addresses a variety of issues regarding marital and separate property and how to handle it in case of divorce or death. This premarital agreement becomes active once the couple marries. Both spouses must sign the agreement. To revoke or change the agreement, both spouses must show agreement in writing.
What can premarital agreements include?
There are several provisions couples can address in a premarital agreement. These include:
• What assets will be considered personal property and what assets will be considered marital property
• What responsibilities and rights each person has over property
• How property will be divided in a divorce
• Who will inherit property in case of death
• How life insurance benefits will be handled in case of death
• How spousal support will be affected
In New Jersey, the rules regarding premarital agreements fall under the Uniform Premarital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act. This act also includes the condition that for a premarital agreement to be valid both parties must have entered it freely and that there must have been full disclosure of assets, earnings, and other financial responsibilities from each spouse. As well, premarital agreements cannot have any items that would otherwise negatively affect the right of a child to receive child support from their parents. If one of the spouses can prove that at least one of these conditions was not met, they can seek to have the agreement set aside.