While no one wants to think about the breakdown of a marriage before it begins, people and circumstances may change over time to a point where separation or divorce become inevitable. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place, you may have more certainty about your financial picture if your marriage ends.
Prenuptial agreements may be particularly beneficial if you are beginning a new marriage and you have children or significant assets from your previous relationship. They also can be a practical step in simplifying and expediting divorce litigation if it becomes necessary.
A Montclair prenuptial agreement lawyer could be crucial in navigating the process of developing a comprehensive and legally enforceable contract. Our family attorneys in New Jersey could offer guidance during a confusing and sometimes overwhelming process.
Prenuptial agreements typically provide a detailed explanation as to the disposition of existing property or assets owned by the individuals if a divorce occurs. For instance, these agreements may address under what circumstances a separate asset, such as a home or an investment account, becomes a marital asset for division in a divorce.
Similarly, prenups may help ensure that debts that a spouse owned before marriage remain the separate debt of that spouse, thereby relieving the other spouse of liability. A typical debt issue that arises in prenups is student loans that stem from a graduate or professional degree earned by one spouse. A prenuptial agreement may stipulate that the spouse who incurred these loans remains solely responsible for their repayment if the parties later divorce.
Another typical issue in prenuptial agreements relates to spousal support in the event of divorce. Particularly if one spouse has a far higher income than the other, the contract might limit the amount of alimony that the spouse with more significant income must pay or place a set duration on the payment of support. A local attorney could assess an individual’s situation and advise what terms they should include in their prenuptial contract.
If the parties choose not to utilize the help of a lawyer in the area, they risk entering into a legally unenforceable prenuptial agreement that the court could later invalidate in future divorce proceedings. A legally unenforceable contract may result in more extensive, lengthy, and expensive litigation. As a result, the parties must take care to ensure that their premarital agreement is valid.
First, both parties should execute a written prenuptial agreement before the wedding is to occur in front of a disinterested witness. Both individuals should have adequate time to consult with their separate attorneys about the contract to understand their respective rights and responsibilities. Signing the agreement well in advance of the wedding also eliminates any suggestion that one spouse pressured the other to sign the contract or otherwise caused them to sign the agreement under duress.
Next, a couple must have full disclosure of all assets, debts, and other financial matters before signing a prenup. If one spouse does not disclose all assets, the assumption is that the premarital agreement might have been different if the other party knew about the additional assets. Therefore, a lack of full disclosure or concealment of assets can invalidate a prenup in New Jersey.
Prenuptial contracts can be essential documents in many marriages today. These valuable contracts can encourage the parties to freely discuss finances before the wedding and resolve disputes before they occur. By consulting a Montclair prenuptial agreement lawyer for advice, you may be in a better position to handle your finances during your marriage.
Additionally, executing a prenuptial agreement may provide you with various advantages if divorce later occurs. By having many financial matters already resolved by agreement, divorce proceedings may be more straightforward and involve fewer disputes. For help drafting your martial contract in New Jersey, call today.