Before 2013, prenuptial agreements in the State of New Jersey were examined by a judge at the time of the divorce. Of course, this could make for a very lengthy legal dispute as many parties claimed that the prenuptial agreement was either valid or invalid for a variety of reasons, including signing under duress and not being properly written. After 2013, prenuptial agreements that are entered into are examined and either deemed to be legally enforceable or not at the time that both parties sign the agreement. When a prenuptial agreement is determined to be enforceable, the terms and details that are outlined in the agreement will be legally upheld in court. However, there is an exception if both parties agree to mutually set the agreement aside. Generally, the terms of the enforceable prenuptial agreement are transferred to the Marital Settlement Agreement. This is a legal document that gives lists the terms of the divorce in regard to finances and issues in regard to children if applicable. In the event that one spouse refuses to comply with the terms listed in the prenuptial agreement, the court may order enforcement measures that include both an asset and wage garnishment.
What Are Some Reasons Why a Prenuptial Agreement Would Not be Enforced?
The terms defined in a prenuptial agreement are generally enforceable as they are looked over by both parties before the marriage occurs. The burden of proof that is necessary to invalidate a prenuptial agreement rests on the party who is making the charge that should not be considered in divorce proceedings. Some of the possible reasons that a prenuptial agreement would not be enforced may include the following:
- If the agreement was not signed voluntarily. For example, if one spouse alleges that it was signed under the threat of physical or psychological abuse, such as being threatened that the marriage would not take place unless the agreement was signed.
- The agreement contains predeterminations made in regard to child custody or child support.
- Demands illegal acts. These are considered to be unconscionable by the court and can quickly invalidate a prenuptial agreement.
Does Cheating Void A Prenuptial Agreement?
Cheating and spousal abuse are both considered to be highly immoral and cruel. However, typically they do not invalidate a prenuptial agreement unless the agreement has a provision that specifically addresses that subject. Most prenuptial agreements do not have stipulations that address these types of issues. For the most part, they give details as to the division of property and spousal support in the event that a divorce should occur. An infidelity clause can be added but could leave both parties open to possible litigation if it is alleged that one or both parties have been unfaithful during the marriage.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Enforce My Prenuptial Agreement?
Our divorce attorneys recognize what a stressful time this can be for you, the client. If you have a spouse that refuses to honor your prenuptial agreement, contact us at (908) 879-9499 and schedule an appointment for a one-hour strategy session. We can look over your prenuptial agreement and advise you about your legal rights and options.