Starting a new family by getting married is an exciting time. Growing your family and starting your future together with the person you love is something that everyone looks forward to. While there are many fun and thrilling things to plan and do when you are getting ready to get married, executing a pre-nuptial agreement is not typically counted among those fun tasks. In some cases, however, a pre-nuptial agreement can help protect you and your future. There are some important considerations to reflect on when deciding if a pre-nuptial agreement is necessary for you and what that agreement should contain.
Unlike a divorce settlement, a pre-nuptial agreement does not have to deal with every aspect or issue that comes with a divorce. For example, your agreement may address issues of alimony but remain silent on division of marital assets. In addition, there are certain issues that cannot be addressed through a pre-nuptial agreement. The most prominent of these issues would be that of child custody. Child custody is determined based on a child’s best interest at the time of the divorce, so a contract determining who is best suited to be custodian at the time of the pre-nuptial agreement, possibly before the child is even born, would not be based on the appropriate considerations.
A pre-nuptial agreement can also protect the spouses in terms of their future career plans. The agreement can specifically set out the expectations of both parties where one spouse is expected to quit his or her job if the parties have children. The pre-nuptial agreement can specifically state whether that person would be entitled to alimony and can discuss the length the support would be paid. This is especially important since 2014, as New Jersey law changed significantly to restrict the availability of alimony.
A pre-nuptial agreement can also be used to define the rights and responsibilities of the spouses with regard to a family business. One spouse may be entering the marriage with an interest in a business that was founded and has been run by his or her family. A pre-nuptial agreement can specify that the new spouse is not entitled to a share of the business upon divorce.
If you have questions about pre-nuptial agreements and what you need to consider before signing one, call us today for an appointment at (732) 529-6937. We have experience in assisting our clients to craft agreements that protect their futures.