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Pre-Marital Agreements

Be Certain You Fully Understand What You’re Signing
Pre-marital (or pre-nuptial) agreements in New Jersey have become more enforceable and subject to fewer challenges based upon recent changes in the legislation.

On June 27, 2013, the New Jersey Legislature amended the Pre-Marital Agreement Act to essentially remove the ability of a party to challenge the validity of a pre-nuptial agreement on the basis that it is "unconscionable at the time of enforcement."

A major departure from the prior existing law governing enforcement of pre-marital agreements in New Jersey, the 2013 amendment eliminated the old statutory definition of what constitutes an enforceable pre-marital agreement.

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Agreements Generally Not Subject
to Challenge

For example, previously a New Jersey pre-marital or pre-nuptial agreement could be modified or set aside if it was deemed at the time of its enforcement to "render a spouse or partner in a civil union couple without a means of reasonable support, make a spouse or partner in a civil union couple a public charge, or provide a standard of living far below that which was enjoyed before the marriage or civil union."

As a result of the amendment, however, pre-nuptial agreements in New Jersey now are much more enforceable and are not subject to challenge — unless the party seeking to set it aside:

  1. Was not provided full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property and financial obligations of the other party;
  2. Did 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;
  1. Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or
  2. Did not consult with independent legal counsel and did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.

SEEK LEGAL GUIDANCE IN NEGOTIATING
YOUR PRE-NUP

Unmarried individuals who are contemplating marriage and the preparation and execution of a pre-marital agreement need to negotiate the terms of these agreements with an underlying understanding of how the law in New Jersey has changed and how the new law affects them.

Given the impact that a pre-nuptial agreement has on one’s rights to support, to equitable distribution, and even in the event of the death of the other spouse, we recommend that you contact our team of experienced attorneys to schedule a phone consultation to discuss your case.

Pre Marital Agreements




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