Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?
Prenuptial agreements are necessary for every couple getting married, but there are some very good reasons most people today should consider them before their marriage.
If you are considering marriage in New Jersey or New York and not sure a prenuptial agreement is right for you, we urge you to call us at DiLorenzo & Rush in Hackensack at 718-537-9885 or 201-212-4027 in the Bronx to discuss your circumstances with one of our family law attorneys.
Who Typically Benefits From A Valid Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements aren’t only for people with high net-worth they may be seeking to protect in the event their marriage fails. These agreements are also used to:
- Protect against being stuck with large debt loads your spouse may be carrying
- Protect your inheritance and make sure your spouse or your step-children don’t have access to it
- Protect your family business from your spouse’s access or claim, or establish that any increase in the value of the business remains classified as a non-marital property
- Protect any copyrights, trademarks, patent rights or other intellectual property you may own
- Protect all or a pre-marriage value of your pension or qualified retirement plan
- Protect against possible claims for alimony
- Protect against withdrawing trust funds established for the special needs of family members in the event of your death
Prenuptial Agreements Must Conform To Certain Rules To Be Valid
Courts often overturn prenuptial agreements for a variety of reasons. To be as legally airtight as possible, they must adhere to these rules:
- Both parties must have their own legal representation or choose to represent themselves. The couple may not hire a single lawyer or law firm to draft the agreement to represent both parties.
- Neither party can sign the agreement under emotional, financial or physical duress. If one party insists that the other party sign the agreement or the marriage will not go through, the agreement may be determined to be invalid in the event of divorce
- The prenuptial agreement must be drafted, approved and signed well in advance of the marriage date. Usually, six months is considered minimum
- The prenuptial agreement cannot substantially be financially unfair and favor one signing party over the other
They Don’t Cover Everything
A prenuptial agreement is not a blanket that eliminates every New Jersey law regarding marital property and custody in the event of divorce. Prenups cannot be used to protect one party from paying child support for their biological or adopted child resulting from the marriage. Nor can the agreement be used to reduce or eliminate parenting time for the non-custodial parent.
If you think a prenuptial agreement may be right for you, or if you have a signed agreement you think may not be valid in your divorce, call our attorneys at DiLorenzo & Rush in Hackensack at 718-537-9885 or the Bronx at 201-212-4027 or send an email with a brief explanation of your circumstances. We will arrange a consultation with one of our New Jersey and New York family law attorneys right away.