Do I Really Need a Pre-Nup?

As with almost any issue in family law, the decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse is a very personal one. Some considerations include the following:

  1.  Does one member of the couple have a significant number assets accumulated through their individual, pre-marital efforts? These assets can include real estate, businesses, inheritances, investments or the like.
  2.  Does one member of the couple have extensive debts accumulated through their individual, pre-marital efforts?
  3.  Does one member of the couple own and operate a business with other business partners?
  4.  Does one member of the couple significantly out earn the other? Prenuptial agreements can limit your exposure to pay alimony in the event of an untimely end to your marriage.

Advanced planning and considering mechanisms prior to entering a marriage, can assist couples in asking the tough questions and entering their marriage with a full picture of each other’s financial circumstances.  It may be uncomfortable, but addressing now how certain issues might be resolved upon the dissolution of a marriage, can be critical to preserving one’s pre-marital efforts in accumulating assets, or in some circumstances, limiting liability on another spouse’s debts.

For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable in New Jersey, the agreement must be entered into freely, voluntarily, with the independent advise of counsel, and with full and fair disclosure of all income and debts of each party. In fact, a statement of all assets and liabilities for each spouse must be attached to the agreement, inclusive of their tax returns and income information.  This agreement should be drafted and signed well in advance of the wedding date.  An agreement should not be signed less than 45 days in advance of the wedding date, otherwise, it could be challenged in the event of a future divorce as having been entered under duress.

The lawyers at Shane and White, LLC can help you plan for your marriage by drafting a comprehensive agreement should your marriage not work out as planned. We are experienced in drafting and negotiating these types of agreements, and our clients will be protected in case of divorce.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This website is designed to provide general information only, and does not represent the opinions of Shane and White, LLC attorneys. The information is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up to date with recent legal developments, verdicts or settlements. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific facts/circumstances/case. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails, but note that contacting us alone does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like advice regarding your individual situation, you should contact Shane and White, LLC. to schedule a consultation to obtain legal advice. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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