Should I sign a pre-nup?

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?

Signing pre-nup agreement

Answer
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.

Read the full article on NJ Money Help

ABOUT Ken White, ESQ

Kenneth White is a partner in the New Jersey law firm Shane and White. Ken White’s legal practice includes Family Law and Divorce. Ken is often interviewed for NJmoneyHelp.com