Most people go into a marriage hoping that it will last forever. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. A prenuptial agreement allows you to protect yourself and your assets in case your marriage doesn’t stand the test of time.
What makes a prenup valid?
If you and your soon-to-be spouse agree to sign a prenup, it is very important your agreement meets all of the criteria listed in the New Jersey Prenuptial statute, or the Uniform and Pre-Civil Agreement Act (UPAA). Under the statute, parties may address the following in their prenup:
- Rights to joint and separate property.
- Right to buy, sell, use, or transfer property.
- How property will be distributed in certain circumstances (e.g., divorce or death).
- Spousal support modifications or elimination.
- Creation of a will or trust to make sure the agreement is followed.
- Life insurance/death benefits.
The agreement must be in writing, signed voluntarily by both parties, and include an annexed statement of assets for both spouses.
What would invalidate a prenup?
There are a few things that may cause a court to declare the prenup invalid. Some common reasons for invalidation include:
- Agreement was signed while under duress
- One or both parties lacked mental capacity to consent at the time of the signing
- Failure of one or both parties to fully disclose premarital assets
- Agreement was not signed early enough before the wedding
- Agreement addresses child custody or child support matters
- Agreement contains unconscionable provisions
- One or both parties failed to consult with their own attorneys and failed to waive their opportunity to consult with an attorney
Even if you plan on being married forever, it is in your best interest to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There are New Jersey family law attorneys available to help you draft a prenuptial agreement that will be upheld by the courts in your divorce.