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Family Law: Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements can often be a touchy topic for many couples about to get married.  Yet such agreements can frequently be necessary when at least one of the parties entering into a marriage has significant assets that may need protecting. 

In New Jersey, prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements, are enforceable and are specifically governed by statute. Premarital agreements must be in writing. They must be accompanied by a statement of assets attached to the agreement.  All parties must be fully aware of the assets owned by each party. That way, it is clear that each party understands what he/she may be giving up as an entitlement in the event the marriage is unsuccessful.   

A premarital agreement must be signed by both parties. Both parties must enter into the agreement knowingly and voluntarily.  In other words, signing the agreement cannot be a condition of the marriage because then it appears that the agreement was threatened or coerced and was not entered into voluntarily. 

Even though a premarital agreement may protect one’s premarital assets, such agreements are not necessarily immune from attack.  A premarital agreement will be reviewed for its fairness at such time that one seeks to enforce the agreement.  Since circumstances can change from the date the agreement is entered into to the time it is enforced, a premarital agreement can always be attacked for its fairness.

At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our New Jersey lawyers can assist you in crafting the right premarital agreement to suit your needs. We will help to ensure protection of assets later down the road. 

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