Can a Prenuptial Agreement Benefit Both Parties In A Marriage?
You may feel that even discussing a prenuptial agreement before your marriage is very uncomfortable and that you are starting your union on a “bad foot”; it does not need to feel that way. When married, most couples join all aspects of their life together, including families, real estate, financial assets, and more. We understand that you want your marriage to last.
Unfortunately, if you divorce one day, it is usually a long, legally complex, stressful situation, but often a “prenup” can significantly help both spouses.
Also, most spouses attempt to be fair when splitting, and if essential items are discussed and agreed to ahead of time, the divorce process is much easier. You don’t have to end up in a lengthy and costly court “battle,” as you already have decided on many of the critical issues and how they will be addressed and divided.
Drafting a valid prenup will allow you and your spouse to protect your assets and decide on other vital issues.
A well-drafted Prenuptial agreement can cover myriad issues, such as:
- You and your spouse’s plan to join or separate your property during or after your marriage.
- The specifics of how you and your spouse can purchase, use, transfer, sell, exchange, or abandon specific assets or properties in the marriage.
- The details of any alimony or support of your spouse if you divorce.
- The division or ownership of real estate if you separate, divorce, or die.
- Who handles and owns any life insurance policies?
- Many more issues unique to your specific situations and obligations.
So, it needn’t be “one-sided,” and once drafted, your prenuptial agreement may never have to be discussed or enforced. If you are even considering a “prenup, ” consulting with a qualified, professional Morris County divorce lawyer will provide you with all the necessary information.
What is a “Sunset Clause” In A Prenup, and How Can It Help?
Discussing and drafting a prenuptial agreement may cause you and your spouse to feel that it impacts your “long-term” marriage. You must note that a well-drafted professional prenuptial agreement is significantly “customizable” to your specific needs.
For this reason, New Jersey provides for the inclusion of a “sunset clause.” This clause in your prenup enables you and your spouse to void the prenuptial agreement after a specific amount of “married time” has passed.
In essence, if you’re married for a long enough time, your prenuptial agreement has a “use by” date, after which it may become null and void.
It’s widely known that the leading cause of conflict during a divorce is the distribution of marital property, assets, etc. This is especially true in relatively “short-term” marriages.
Prenups Can Clarify Between Separate Property and Marital Property.
There is a definite difference, and it must be made clear that, in most marriages, separate and marital property are not usually treated the same.
In some cases any real estate or assets you possessed before you were married or after you filed for divorce is “separate property.” However, any real estate, assets, etc., that you both purchased while you were married and before you filed for divorce is “marital property.”
However, in New Jersey, there are some exceptions. Additionally, two types of property are excluded from “equitable distribution” they are:
- Any “gifts” intended for one spouse alone and were not given by the other.
- Any type of inheritance specifically left to one spouse solely.
Accordingly, equitable and fair distribution of these types of assets can be made much clearer using a well-drafted prenuptial agreement.
What Are Some Of The Requirements For A Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements in New Jersey can include myriad instructions for who owns what before, during, or after your marriage. Accordingly, every prenup is different and (when drafted professionally) will cover all aspects of your and your spouse’s unique situation.
So, specific legal guidelines must be followed when your prenuptial agreement is drafted correctly. These guidelines help to ensure that the prenup is legal and can be used effectively if the time arises.
Just some of these requirements are:
- The prenuptial agreement absolutely must be in writing.
- All prenups must include “full disclosure” to all involved parties during their execution.
- The prenup must be notarized.
- The prenuptial agreement must be fair, just, and agreed to by both parties involved.
- All prenuptial agreements must be drafted and legally finalized before your marriage.
You must know that creating a prenuptial agreement is impossible if you are already married. However, you can draft a postnuptial agreement almost any time after your marriage. These documents are very much the same, but one is created before your wedding and one after.
All prenups are unique, and even if you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you should consult with a qualified, professional, and detailed Morris County divorce lawyer. By obtaining the correct and most up-to-date legal advice, you can ensure that your prenup is drafted to fulfill the intended goals of you and your soon-to-be spouse.
I Need More Information On A Prenuptial Agreement; How Should I Proceed?
Drafting an enforceable and well-designed prenuptial agreement in New Jersey can be a challenging and detailed legal undertaking. Be aware that If your agreement is not done correctly and with professional expertise, it may not hold up in court, and what you intended may be entirely discarded.
So, it’s legally prudent for you to seek the advice, guidance, and assistance of a Morris County divorce lawyer with experience in executing successful, thorough, and fully enforceable prenups.
Your Morris County divorce law team, will provide you with all the information you need and all the legal options available to achieve your goals. Your law team will also structure the agreement to ensure that it will hold up in court and has no “loopholes” that allow for its circumvention.
Remember, your divorce lawyer will always fight for your rights and draft a legally sound and detailed document that will withstand the court’s (or any outside) scrutiny and ensure your wishes are upheld.