Enforcing your New Jersey Prenup

These days, prenuptial agreements are not only for the likes of Hollywood celebrities. They provide spouses at all income levels with financial and other protections. Enforcing New Jersey prenups is easier now, thanks to changes in state laws. It is no longer possible to overturn prenups based on their being unconscionable, either when the agreement was entered into or when it was meant to be enforced.

A prenuptial contract establishes how the spouses’ assets will be distributed in the event of separation, divorce or death. New Jersey premarital agreements also address these issues:

Both spouses’ rights and obligations to joint and separate property
Rights to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, assign, dispose of or otherwise manage and control property
Modification or elimination of spousal support
Making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement
Ownership rights in, and disposition of, the death benefit from a life insurance policy
New Jersey’s new prenup laws apply only to agreements signed after the laws went into effect. Full and fair disclosure is still required. However, prenups cannot stipulate child support payments or custody ― Family Court determines this based on the children’s best interests.

Couples benefit from prenuptial agreements when one spouse:

Owns a business or real estate
Expects a future inheritance
Earns more or has a higher net worth than their partner
Has children from other relationships
Has elderly parents who rely on them for financial support
Has significant debt like student loans, medical bills, credit card debt, mortgages, home equity lines of credit or 401K loans
Wants to leave their assets to others than their spouse

If you think a prenup might kill the romance, consider including a sunset clause stating that after a certain number of years of marriage, the agreement becomes invalid.

For sage prenuptial advice in Sussex, Morris, Passaic and Warren Counties in New Jersey, contact the dedicated family law and divorce attorneys at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C.