Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers
Whether you are about to get married or are already together and are experiencing or considering a change in life circumstance, it is not only beneficial, but in fact essential, that your rights and interests are protected no matter what happens down the road. There are legal relationship agreements that you can and should enter with your spouse to ensure that you are both prepared for whatever may come. The prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorneys at Herbert & Weiss help clients in Bergen County and northern New Jersey make sure they are adequately prepared and protected in their marriage in the event of any unforeseen setback in the relationship.
Prenuptial Agreements in New Jersey
Prenuptial, or ante-nuptial, agreements (prenups) are no longer solely in the realm of the rich and the famous. While a plan for the end of a marriage may be the last thing you would prefer to think about as you prepare to get married, divorce is an extremely common part of modern life. Prenuptial agreements can be the best way to protect your assets and interests in the event that a marriage does not ultimately work out as planned. Prenups generally protect your premarital assets and set out what interests and assets will be included in the equitable distribution of the marital estate in a divorce, and they can specify how alimony is calculated as well. Prenups can lay out how complex business interests or financial holdings will be divided between the spouses. Prenuptial agreements ensure that you and your spouse are both protected in terms of your assets and financial interests, your families, and your privacy in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements do not deal only with finances. They can also be used to set out the rights and responsibilities of each spouse following a divorce, including privacy rights and contact between the spouses, and other elements of the relationship following a divorce. Prenups cannot be used, however, to specify child custody and support arrangements; those will always be determined at the time of divorce according to the best interests of the children. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you craft a prenuptial agreement tailored to your specific circumstances and those of your family to ensure that the interests of all parties are protected, that everyone is treated fairly, and that both your marriage and your future have adequate safeguards.
For a prenuptial agreement to be valid in New Jersey, both parties must: (1) fully disclose all assets; (2) enter into the agreement voluntarily; and (3) be given sufficient time to fully consider all of the terms of the agreement before the marriage. It is not required but is highly advisable for both parties to obtain independent legal counsel before signing a prenup.
Life changes can happen at any stage of a relationship. You may be considering putting your career on hold to have children, you may be in the process of reconciling with a spouse from whom you were previously separated, or the financial circumstances for you or your spouse may have changed significantly following a gained or lost job opportunity or other unexpected financial event. In those instances, it can be extremely helpful to set out a legal agreement, called a postnuptial (or mid-marriage) agreement, establishing or re-establishing the rights and responsibilities of each party.
Postnups generally cover the same financial topics as prenups, but they are entered into after a marriage has already begun. They can be used to modify the terms of a prenup or to establish rights that were not covered by a prenup, if there was one. Postnups are used to plan ahead in the event that the parties separate, divorce, or die. Because they are entered into during the pendency of a marriage, they are often used to give greater consideration to assets acquired during the marriage, whereas prenups can only consider assets and interests already possessed prior to a marriage.
Legal Help For Your Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
If you are entering into a marriage, or the circumstances surrounding your marriage have changed, make sure you and your spouse are adequately protected and prepared for any eventuality by entering into a comprehensive and solid legal relationship agreement. For advice and assistance and effective representation in crafting and reviewing your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney at Herbert & Weiss in Englewood for a free initial phone consultation.