Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Safeguard the Future with Our Livingston Matrimonial & Family Lawyers
It is becoming increasingly common for couples, prior to marriage, to address what will occur with their assets and finances in the event of divorce by way of a “prenuptial” or “premarital” agreement. While not always a desirable topic to discuss when one is planning a wedding, having an agreement in place can spare both parties costly and time-consuming litigation in the event of a marriage’s unfortunate breakdown.
A prenuptial agreement can address the following matters:
- Spousal support (“alimony”)
- Property division upon divorce including the disposition of premarital property and responsibility for debt
- Treatment of income earned during the marriage
- Payment of marital expenses
- Asset distribution in the event of a spouse’s death
"Do I Need a Prenup?"
Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements are not solely for couples with a high net worth. While it benefits everyone to consider a prenuptial agreement in advance of marriage, however, it is particularly advisable in certain circumstances.
Prenuptial agreements are especially advised when parties:
- Were married before
- Have children from a prior relationship or marriage
- Stand to benefit from a trust
- Expect to receive a monetary gift or inheritance
- Own a business
- Are marrying someone with substantial debt
- Earn more than your future spouse
- Have more assets than your future spouse
To be enforceable, a prenuptial agreement must be entered into voluntarily, with “full and fair disclosure” of the earnings, assets, and debt of each party (unless the parties expressly waive the right to such disclosure in writing), with each party having had the opportunity to be represented by independent counsel. See N.J.S.A. 37:2-38.
Understanding Postnuptial Agreements
In contrast to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement (sometimes referred to as a “mid-marriage agreement”) is made between spouses during the marriage to protect their rights and assets in the event of divorce. Enforcement of postnuptial agreements is governed by a far stricter standard in light of the judiciary’s concern that same are more subject to manipulation by one spouse of the other. See Pacelli v. Pacelli, 319 N.J. Super. 185 (App. Div. 1999).
How We Can Help
At Ziegler & Zemsky, LLC, our experienced team of skilled and seasoned Livingston matrimonial law attorneys can advise you as to the right type of agreement to best protect your interests whether before, during or after marriage. Our team handles these documents for couples throughout New Jersey and New York and are ready to help you and your future or current spouse safeguard your futures.
Ready to explore your prenuptial agreement options? Call us at (973) 878-4373 to request an initial consultation with us today.