What can’t be included in a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Family Law |

It’s a sad truth that most marriages end in divorce. In fact, in the U.S., a marriage ends every 36 seconds. Given this statistic, many people understandably choose to prepare for this possibility.

Soon-to-be-wed couples can use a prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” as part of this preparation. However, they can’t include certain things in this document.

Here’s a look at those.

Waivers to child-related arrangements or alimony

Prenups cannot include decisions about child custody or support. The court must decide these matters based on what’s best for the child at the time of the divorce.

While some states may allow alimony waivers or limitations in a prenup, New Jersey courts can disregard them if they find them unconscionable when enforcing the agreement.

Illegal provisions

Provisions that are illegal or against public policy are unenforceable in New Jersey. In other words, people can’t include terms or conditions leading to an unlawful action or that go against community morals and standards. For instance, a prenup cannot enforce personal behavior or lifestyle changes.

This can be like a requirement to maintain a certain weight or appearance, as these go against individual rights and public policy.

Clauses about personal or non-financial matters

Prenuptial agreements in New Jersey are mainly for financial arrangements, not personal ones. This means that clauses dictating personal aspects of the marriage, such as household chores or frequency of intimate relations, generally won’t hold up in court.

Provisions promoting divorce

Any clause in a prenuptial agreement that incentivizes divorce is generally considered unenforceable. This is because it goes against public policy to encourage the dissolution of marriages.

Rewriting an invalid prenup

Prenups can be a useful tool for individuals about to get married. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind their limitations. People can’t use them to to set terms that are illegal, against public policy or anything related to child custody or support. Because these agreements are complex and laws can vary over time and by jurisdiction, individuals should consider seeking advice from a legal professional.

A legal professional can help provide guidance in crafting the prenuptial agreement in a way that follows state laws, protects individual interests and is legally enforceable.



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