Preparing a Prenuptial Agreement

In New Jersey, parties are free to enter into prenuptial agreements. However, both before the agreement and after, certain requirements must be adhered to.

First, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement made between two parties made in contemplation and in consideration for the marriage. The agreement must be made in writing, with each parties' pre-marital assets and liabilities listed and attached to the agreement, and signed by both parties. The agreement becomes effective upon the marriage.

The prenuptial agreement can address real or personal property, spousal support, life insurance, or anything other rights that do not violate public policy. It should be noted that if parties choose to enter into a premarital agreement, child support cannot be waived.

A prenuptial agreement is unenforceable if the party seeking to set aside the agreement demonstrates that they executed the agreement unwillingly; the agreement is unjust at the time the enforcement is sought; or that before execution of the agreement, there was not provided full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property and financial obligations of the other party, they not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; they did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or they did not consult with independent legal counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.

If parties choose to enter into prenuptial agreements, it is imperative that all requirements are complied with, and that the agreement will be enforceable.

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