Hackensack Marriage Lawyer
Flexible, Professional Representation at a Low Cost
Before walking down the aisle with your loved one, walk into our law firm. The Glen F. Haley Law Firm is experienced in drafting premarital agreements between engaged couples. While there has long been a stigma against prenuptial agreements, such contracts have become extremely common for married parties seeking to protect their spousal rights. Our marriage attorney can help you establish a clear and legally binding document to protect both spouses’ assets from unfair or unexpected divorce disputes. Contact our firm for help to handle the following assets:
- Retirement Funds
The last thing anyone wants to think about when gearing up to get married is the potential for divorce. Instead, let The Glen F. Haley Law Firm take care of all the necessary details for you so you can focus on the happiness ahead. We don’t want you bogged down by the division of your existing assets any more than you want to be. Simply meet with our prenup agreement lawyer to review your existing assets and how you want them handled in case of a divorce; we will take care of everything else.
What Can a Prenup Do?
In New Jersey, premarital agreements, also called prenuptial agreements, are contracts between prospective spouses contemplating marriage and become effective upon their legal marriage. Premarital agreements help prospective spouses to define, prior to marriage, their rights and obligations after a marriage. Prenuptial agreements can also expedite a long divorce process, as they may establish post-divorce issues commonly resolved in court like property division or spousal support.
The following can be addressed in a New Jersey premarital agreement:
- both spouses' rights and obligations to joint and separate property;
- the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, assign, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- the division of property upon separation, divorce, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
- the modification or elimination of spousal support;
- the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- the ownership rights in, and disposition of, the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- the choice of law governing the construction and interpretation of the agreement; and
- any other matter, including personal rights and obligations.
Note that prospective spouses may not predetermine in prenuptial agreements issues related to children, such as child support and custody. This is because such matters are typically decided by a court based on the best interests of the child – not the spouses.
Be aware that in 1988, New Jersey enacted its version of The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which provides that all premarital agreements must be in writing, signed by both spouses, and have a statement of assets attached to the agreement. After marriage, the premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by both spouses.
It is advisable that both spouses consult an attorney before entering into a premarital agreement. An experienced marriage lawyer can examine the terms of the agreement and ensure the prospective spouse’s rights are being protected, especially in the context of potential married life. If an individual decides not to consult a lawyer, they must express in writing that they freely, knowingly, and voluntarily waived the right to be represented by counsel.
Contesting a Prenuptial
In some circumstances, a person may decide to contest a prenuptial agreement. Note that the contesting spouse has the burden of proof to show by clear and convincing evidence that either:
- they executed the agreement involuntarily;
- the agreement was unconscionable at the time it was signed;
- before the signing of the agreement, they were not provided with a full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property, and financial obligations of the other spouse;
- before the signing of the agreement, they did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided;
- before the signing of the agreement, they did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligation of the other spouse; or
- before signing, they did not consult with independent counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity for counsel.
Note that the court may find a premarital agreement unconscionable if it is shown that the challenging spouse would be without reasonable support, would have to depend on public assistance, or would be provided a standard of living far below the one they previously enjoyed before the marriage.
Contact The Glen F. Haley Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you are preparing for or contemplating marriage to your partner, it is worth considering creating a prenuptial agreement. Such an agreement can address important financial concerns that may arise in the case of divorce or separation, so it is advisable to establish certain terms, such as for property division, to safeguard your future rights. The Glen F. Haley Law Firm can take a look at your situation and help you draft a comprehensive premarital agreement protecting your rights as a spouse, especially related to issues as important as personal finances.