As a divorce attorney in New Jersey, I see how the courts handle divorces almost daily. Many individuals do not know how a court will decide their case or settle the case. A prenuptial agreement almost works as insurance for individuals who are getting married. A prenuptial agreement can set the terms of a potential divorce which is critically important. A prenuptial agreement can address how property or assets are distributed if someone files for divorce in New Jersey. My team and I are experienced in creating and negotiating prenuptial agreements for individuals throughout the State of New Jersey. Prenuptial agreements have become more important than ever before because of how difficult divorce cases have become in the New Jersey Family Courts. Why deal with that if you can have a prenuptial agreement? Don't. Many of my clients have complex assets and investment vehicles that are often difficult to address pre-marital contributions and post-marital contributions and appreciation and sometimes depreciation. Another issue is how to accurately value complex assets such as stock options and real estate outside the United States.
Another major issue is alimony. In New Jersey, the dependent spouse can obtain a substantial amount of alimony from the bread winner up to the entire length of the marriage. In a prenuptial agreement, you can set the terms of alimony if the parties are to divorce. While some people seek clauses such as no alimony from either party, many Judges may find that the clause is unfair especially if the difference and income and the lifestyle the parties lived calls for alimony. I usually advise client to have fair alimony terms such as no alimony if the parties get divorced within three years or something along those lines (each case is fact sensitive). It is very important that both parties have an attorney or at least consult with an attorney in New Jersey.
While parties are getting excited to get married and do not want to think about the possibility of divorce in the future, the prenuptial agreement serves as insurance just like car insurance. When you buy or have a car, you do not think you will get into an accident but accidents do happen and you need to be protected. A prenuptial agreement protects individuals who are getting married.
Three tips I offer for Prenuptial Agreements in New Jersey:
- Make sure you have enough time to review and negotiate the prenuptial agreement
- Do not sign an agreement without an attorney and do not sign under duress
- Provide a full financial disclosure to your lawyer and your soon to be spouse.
If you live in New Jersey and are getting married and are considering a prenuptial agreement, my office will be able to help you by creating a prenuptial agreement so that you are protected and if your soon to be spouse wants to create a prenuptial agreement, we can review the prenuptial agreement in full confidence and advise you of your rights and determine what is fair and to make sure it is spelled out in the agreement. If you seek a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey, contact my Jersey City office at (201) 228-9815.