Wedding Planning Series Part III: WHY IS A PRENUP IMPORTANT?
To put it simply, a pre-nuptial agreement is a written agreement that you and your future spouse sign prior to the day you get married. It is something that outlines how you will deal with pre-marital property, property you acquire during your marriage, alimony, and anything else that is important to you, like retirement accounts and pensions, in the event of divorce.
If you have something when you get married, the ONLY way to ensure it is completely protected from distribution in the unlikely event of your divorce is a pre-nuptial agreement.
The agreement will set out certain rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event the marriage ends in divorce. New Jersey law has strict requirements for a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement.
- The agreement must be in writing and must have a list of assets owned by the parties attached to the agreement, or the parties can acknowledge in writing that they have voluntarily waived any disclosure of assets.
- The purpose of this is to make sure that both spouses had a fair understanding of what assets existed at the time the prenuptial was entered, or at least knew that they had the right to request full disclosures at the time.
- If at the time of divorce, it is revealed that one or both parties did not have a complete understanding of the assets that existed, or did not waive this right voluntarily, this could be grounds to void the agreement.
Pre-nuptial agreements can prevent a great deal of fighting in the event of divorce. More importantly, it can protect those things that are most important to you, like your pension! If you want experienced attorneys to help you craft a prenup that will be enforceable and protect you.