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Do Prenups Actually Hold Up in Court in New Jersey?

Couple sitting on sofa signing documentsIf you live in New Jersey and you are wondering whether you need a prenuptial agreement and whether prenups actually hold up in court or how long prenups last, you are not alone. Oftentimes, when people are planning to marry, they discuss whether or not a prenup is necessary. Some questions that people have as they consider whether or not a prenup is for them is do prenups work? Are they enforceable? What is an ironclad prenup?  People want to know if courts respect prenups and whether or not those documents are foolproof. The short answer is that prenups are enforceable, assuming that the prenup is consistent with New Jersey law. Prenups can be drafted and enforced if the marriage is terminated, providing that the document meets the requirements of the law. Under those circumstances, prenups actually do hold up in court.  If the prenup does not accurately reflect the law, the document will not be enforced. Informed consent ensures that both parties understand their legal rights. Disclosing their assets and debts and clearly articulating the terms in the prenup are necessary steps to ensure that the document protects both parties in the event of a divorce

Are Prenups Foolproof?

Prenups do actually hold up in court but they are not foolproof. There can be issues related to the drafting of a prenup that can cause it to be unenforceable in court . Situations such as signing a prenup under duress or problems with an agreement between the parties signing the prenup can lead to issues down the road. Many people ask about an “ironclad” prenup because they wonder if prenups are upheld in court? Prenups must be fair and both parties must be signing the document voluntarily without any pressure or coercion. These basic principles will ensure that your prenup is as ironclad as possible and that your prenup actually holds up in Court.

The reality is that while most prenups actually do hold up in court, there are always provisions in a prenup that unfortunately can lead to it being invalidated. The prenup is meant to protect both parties in the case of divorce, and the law will provide protection for both spouses, which is why it is so important that the prenup clearly states the intentions of the parties.

Do Courts Respect Prenups?

The court system always attempts to look at the details of a prenup and honor the agreement, providing that it is fair to both parties. In circumstances where the law is not being represented correctly in the language of a prenup, the court has the discretion to set aside the language of the prenup.

When negotiating the terms of a prenup, you need to be sure that you are working with a skilled lawyer to draft this agreement.  Including certain parenting issues can lead to the document being set aside by the court in the future.  There are certain considerations that can be included in a prenup, but parenting rights or co-parenting arrangements cannot be included in a prenup.

Writing a Prenup That Will Hold Up in Court

The primary purpose of a prenup is to protect assets that exist at the time of the marriage. These might be business assets, property assets, or even stock and bonds. Your lawyer will refer to the New Jersey Premarital Agreement Act when creating a prenup that will be fair to both parties. It is necessary that your prenup outlines the assets and liabilities of both parties at the time of the marriage to ensure that both parties have a full and complete understanding of the financial circumstances and what the expectation of the marriage will be and an appreciation for what would happen with those assets in the event of a divorce. 

In order to determine whether or not a prenup is necessary for you, it is most prudent to meet with a skilled attorney.  Schedule your consultation today with one of the legal experts at DeTorres & DeGeorge to ensure that your legal questions are addressed and that your rights are protected as you plan your marriage. 

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