As you are preparing for your marriage, likely the last thing that you want to consider is what will happen if your marriage ends. However, seriously considering a prenuptial agreement is important for you to do. And luckily, the stigma around this document has somewhat vanished, and couples are opting for this now more than ever. Continue reading to learn how this agreement will work and how an experienced Morristown prenuptial agreement lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help protect you.
How does a prenuptial agreement work to protect me?
Put simply, a prenuptial agreement is a contract that you and your spouse will sign before you get married, in which you establish how asset division will work should your marriage ever be terminated. If valid and enforceable, the terms of this contract may override the state of New Jersey’s equitable distribution law.
Notably, you can establish and protect the following in your prenuptial agreement:
- What is considered separate property in your marriage.
- What is considered joint property in your marriage.
- How your separate and joint property will be distributed in the event of a divorce.
- How your alimony agreement will work in the event of a divorce.
- How your life insurance policies will be handled in the event of a divorce.
- How your business will be handled in the event of a divorce.
Importantly, there are certain terms that this contract cannot include, such as child custody and child support.
How do I draft a prenuptial agreement?
To reiterate, your prenuptial agreement must be valid and enforceable. Because if not, the New Jersey court will turn to equitable distribution law to conduct asset division in your divorce. With that being said, when drafting your contract, you should ensure that it meets the following qualifications:
- It should be in writing.
- It should be signed by both you and your spouse, without any manipulation or coercion into doing so.
- It should be considered fair and just for both you and your spouse.
- It should disclose all assets that both you and your spouse possess.
- It should be notarized.
What should I do if I am already married?
Say, for instance, that you are already married, and that you are regretting not having signed a prenuptial agreement. Rest assured, there is still one option at your disposal, which is a postnuptial agreement. Put simply, a postnuptial agreement acts similar to that of a prenuptial, except you are allowed to establish it after entering into a marriage.
In the end, choosing against a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be a great disservice to you and your spouse in the long run. So, if you want to learn more about this, reach out to a skilled Morris County divorce lawyer today.