Entering into a marriage is not all fun and games. Valentine’s Day just passed and you proposed to your now fiancé and they accepted. Reality is starting to set in. You might have assets you wish to protect. You might have debts accumulated that your intended does not wish to be responsible for. Or you might be part of a family owned business, and your family wants to protect their own business in the event your marriage is unsuccessful. At Shane and White, LLC, we suggest a serious evaluation of your current assets, a look at your financial plans in the marriage such as retirement plans and the purchasing of a home, and to consider speaking with a certified matrimonial attorney about a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married.
There are no rules, no set number of days before a marriage that a prenuptial agreement must be signed. Many lawyers have different deadlines prior to the marriage ceremony from which point they will not draft, execute, or review a premarital agreement. It is important that you start planning well in advance so you have no issues with future enforceability.
Per the law in the statute of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, N.J.S.A. 37:2-31, a prenuptial agreement:
- must be in writing;
- must be signed by the parties before the marriage;
- must have an accounting of all assets and liabilities to the parties at the time of the agreement attached to it;
- both parties must either have independent counsel or specifically waive, in writing, their right to have an independent attorney review the agreement; and
- the prenup becomes effective upon the marriage of the parties.
To avoid challenges to the enforceability of the prenup, the attorneys at Shane and White, LLC recommend a prenuptial agreement be drafted, reviewed and signed as early as possible before the marriage.
An experienced, matrimonial attorney needs to review the details of your specific situation. Once you’ve had this consultation with your lawyer, they can then explain how to best protect your assets, or how you might be affected by signing a prenuptial agreement your fiancé presents you with. After you have all the facts you will have a better idea of how you can broach this sensitive topic with your fiancé. It is important to protect yourself in the event of a divorce. At Shane and White, LLC we are committed to your matrimonial and family law needs. Please contact our office at 732-819-9100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation today.