NJ Money Help offers advice to those submitting questions. A recent question was submitted and the team at NJmoneyHelp.com contacted attorney, Ken White, for more information about prenuptial agreements in New Jersey.
The Question: I’m getting married to a guy from a really rich family. His parents want me to sign a pre-nup. I have a job that pays $110,000 a year and I don’t feel poor. Should I sign it? How can I protect myself?
Ken White is a family law and divorce attorney in New Jersey and immediately said that a one-on-one consultation with a family law attorney is highly recommended as the question did not give a lot of information and circumstances vary greatly from person to person. In the article Ken discusses why you might want to have a pre-nup, how a pre-nup can help/protect both parties, and some common things that are not in prenuptial agreements that most people don’t realize.
Why have a Pre-nup
When you get divorced in New Jersey – we have equitable distribution. This means that each spouse gets 50% of the property/assets acquired in the marriage. A prenuptial agreement is usually set up to protect assets in the event of a short marriage – a divorce.
Protecting Yourself By Signing a Prenuptial Agreement
The main purpose of a prenup is to ensure that whatever assets you have before you get married; you will still have if you should get divorced.
In the case of a short term marriage – a prenuptial could save both parties on legal fees.
What isn’t protected in a Pre-nup
There are many different reasons for having a prenuptial agreement but not all of those reasons can be protected in a prenup.
- assets received before marriage (if not co-mingled) property or assets that you owned before the date of marriage, are immune from equitable distribution in a divorce
- gifts received during a marriage – “from third parties, such as a monetary gift directly provided by his parents to him, are immune from equitable distribution whether there is a pre-nup or not.”
- inheritances received during the course of your marriage by one spouse independently are immune from equitable distribution
- retirement benefits you amassed prior to the date of your marriage are also considered pre-marital property – you’d keep 100 percent of that amount before marriage
About Prenuptial (Premarital or Post-nuptial Agreements in New Jersey:
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) has been introduced in some but not all states. New Jersey adopted the Uniform Act in 1988.
A prenup agreement can have an expiration!
Contact us to find out more about prenuptial agreements and determine if it’s right for your circumstances.