Postnuptial Agreements in New Jersey
When the excitement of a wedding dies down, many dedicated and loving couples realize that they may benefit from certain legal protections in case the worst occurs and they decide to divorce. Whether or not the parties entered into a prenuptial agreement, they can still establish legal boundaries in the form of a postnuptial or mid-marriage agreement. Sometimes these agreements are used to reconcile separated spouses, allowing them to reunite instead of divorce and give the relationship another go. Learn below about postnuptial agreements in New Jersey, and speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey family law attorney if you have questions about a premarital agreement, postnuptial agreement, or other family law matter.
What Can a Postnuptial Agreement Cover?
Postnuptial agreements can be obtained by married couples who seek to either modify an existing premarital agreement or enter a new agreement. Couples may find that their existing premarital agreement needs to be updated to reflect the passage of time, or that the underlying terms of the premarital agreement need to be altered. Post-nups can also be created as a wholly new contract, without an existing premarital agreement, to determine the division of assets, alimony, and other financial issues in the event of divorce. Postnuptial agreements cannot, however, dictate how child custody will be resolved after a divorce.
Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable?
Postnuptial agreements are similar to premarital agreements. They can be enforced in New Jersey so long as they are valid under the principles of contract law. A valid postnup must have, at the least:
● Full disclosure by both parties (no hidden assets or income, no other material information withheld, etc.)
● Independent legal counsel for each party to review and discuss the terms, or an explicit, written waiver of the right to counsel by a party
● No coercion, duress, or fraud, including emotional pressure
● Fair and reasonable terms for both parties
New Jersey courts do tend to scrutinize postnups more closely than prenups. Courts are wary that postnups may be more likely to involve some form of duress or coercion, and that the terms might not be fair. Work with a seasoned family law attorney when drafting your postnup to ensure that it is valid and enforceable and that it will withstand any challenges by a court or one of the parties down the line.
Help With Your New Jersey Family Law Issues
If you are considering a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement, or if you have questions about other family law issues in New Jersey, speak with a knowledgeable and effective marital agreement and family law attorney at the Union offices of family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro. Call us today at 908-964-0102.