In the state of New Jersey, you are not required to consult with or use the services of a licensed attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. Even though this is the case, it is highly advisable that you do retain an attorney to assist you through this legal process. For a document to be considered legal, it must be recognized as such in the eyes of the law. This is why you need the services of an experienced attorney so that you can be assured that your prenuptial agreement is prepared correctly.
A prenuptial agreement is designed to protect both you and your future spouse’s personal assets in the event of a divorce. If a prenuptial agreement has to be used in divorce proceedings, you want to be sure that all of the terms defined in the document can stand up in a court of law and not be invalidated by a judge at a later date.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Valid?
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid in the state of New Jersey, there are certain legal criteria that must be met as in the following:
- The agreement must be in writing.
- The agreement must include full and honest disclosure of both future spouses’ assets.
- The terms and conditions outlined in the agreement must be fair and just to both parties.
- There must be no evidence that can prove there was any type of coercion applied, such as the threat of physical, emotional, or financial pressure to sign the agreement. There also must not be any evidence of deceit by either party.
- The agreement must have been drafted and executed before the marriage took place so as to give both parties ample time to examine the document.
How Long is A Prenuptial Agreement Valid in New Jersey?
In prenuptial agreements, it is not mandatory to include within the set terms and conditions a specified amount of time that the agreement should be valid. Therefore, there is no expiration date on a prenuptial agreement. As a result, for most couples who have exercised this legal option, the agreement remains in force for the duration of their marriage. In the event that the prenuptial agreement has to be used in divorce proceedings if the agreement is properly written and considered to be legal, the court will enforce the terms even if one party is not pleased as a result.
Can I Get Obtain a Prenuptial Agreement After I Get Married?
A prenuptial agreement can only be obtained before marriage actually takes place. From that point on, the prenuptial agreement is considered valid and in force. However, if you are already married and decide that you need a legal safeguard that is comparable then you may decide to have a post-nuptial agreement drawn up between you and your spouse that can detail how marital assets should be divided in the event of a divorce. Many of the same conditions that apply to prenuptial agreements also apply to post-nuptial agreements in regard to child support and child custody issues as they cannot be included in either type of agreement. You also need a qualified family law attorney to draw up a post-nuptial agreement to ensure that it is legal and binding in a court of law.
If you need assistance in drafting a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, contact us at (908) 879-9499 and schedule an appointment for a one-hour strategy session. We look forward to serving you.