Marital situations can change. The bond you and your partner once had might not be as strong as it once was. You want to stay with your spouse, but those uncertainties, combined with your improved financial situation, might mean you need more protections.

Sometimes you need to be prepared for the worst. You need to protect your assets, and a postnuptial agreement might be your best option.

Educating yourself about postnuptial agreements will help you understand the legal requirements. An attorney can help you decide if you need one and help you prepare it.

Equitable distribution of marital assets

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Spouses often have different opinions on what that means. If you think your relationship is ending, it is best to prepare. A postnuptial agreement can get you the best results possible.

New Jersey case set legal standards

A Supreme Court of New Jersey decision on postnuptial agreements, Pacelli v. Pacelli, set legal standards.

In this case, the husband had a postnuptial agreement drafted. He told his wife that he would divorce her if she did not sign it. Years later, the couple divorced, and the postnuptial agreement was enforced. The wife said she was “coerced” into signing the agreement. The lower court upheld the postnuptial agreement.

The higher court overturned the decision and ruled in favor of the wife. It said her husband placed her in a difficult and unfair situation.

The decision established that a postnuptial agreement must include the following:

  • Full disclosure of assets
  • Entered without coercion or force
  • Legal representation for both spouses

Some signed agreements can be challenged

Signed agreements do not always reach legal requirements. Education on postnuptial agreements can be your best defense if you need to draft an agreement or challenge one.