A divorce can be a messy ordeal, especially if there is disagreement over the ownership of shared belongings. It is easy to assume that both parties understand what’s theirs no matter what happens. Neither wants to spend an excessive amount of time, energy, and money in court to finalize the divorce. If you are in New Jersey, prenuptial agreements require both parties to seek independent legal counsel and disclose all assets.
What are prenuptial agreements?
In preparation for marriage or a civil union, some couples choose to create prenuptial agreements. They are legally binding documents that allocate the splitting of pre-marital assets should they divorce. The pre-marital personal assets that prenuptial agreements protect include real estate, trusts, investment accounts, and foreign assets that exist before the marriage.
Can prenuptial agreements be amended?
In New Jersey, prenuptial agreements can be amended during marriage and during divorce. The enforcement of a prenuptial agreement is dependent on any changes to the couple’s circumstances and the value of their assets. However, in New Jersey’s Uniform Pre-Marital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act (UPA), premarital agreements can be amended during divorce without consideration. This means that no legal precedent exists to determine the standard of review for amendments, whether pre-nuptial or mid-marriage.
Can prenuptial agreements be nullified?
Prenuptial agreements in New Jersey can generally be nullified under the following circumstances:
- Signed under duress
- Signed without mental capacity
- Agreement is unconscionable
Who benefits most from prenuptial agreements?
Prenuptial agreements benefit people involved in high-asset divorces. People who own a business, have or earn significantly more income than their spouse, are expecting to marry someone with a large amount of debt or expect to inherit a large amount of money, might find a prenuptial agreement is in their best interest.
Although most people go into marriage with the expectation of a lasting union, a prenuptial agreement can protect personal assets and divide marital assets during. All couples should weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding to finalize or sign prenuptial agreements.