A prenuptial agreement can, among other things, allow couples to clearly define separate property and marital property, and how their property will be divided upon divorce. Each state has their own laws governing prenuptial agreements which provide information about what can be included in the prenuptial agreement, as well as the procedural requirements for a prenuptial agreement to be valid.
In New Jersey, prenuptial agreements are called "premarital agreements," and they can also be entered into before a civil union. A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by each spouse, and it becomes effective upon marriage. While New Jersey prenuptial agreements can include a variety of provisions (outlined in the chart below), they can't contain provisions that "adversely affect the right of a child to support." A prenuptial agreement can only be revoked or amended by a written agreement signed by the couple.
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements at a Glance
When researching the answer to a legal question, it's important to read the actual language of the statute. There is also a benefit, however, to read a summary of the statute in plain English. Below you can find a brief overview of the laws relating to New Jersey prenuptial agreements, as well as links to the relevant statutes.
||New Jersey Statutes 37 Section 2-31, et seq. (Uniform Premarital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act)
|What Can Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement can include the following:
- The rights and obligations of each spouse when it comes to property;
- The right to manage and control property;
- How property will be distributed at divorce, death, or the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of any other event;
- The modification or elimination of spousal support;
- The making of an arrangement (such as a will or trust) to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in and distribution of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and/or
- Any other matter, such as personal rights and obligations, as long as it doesn't violate public policy.
|Setting Aside a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement isn't enforceable if the party seeking to set aside the agreement proves that either (1) the party executed the agreement involuntarily, or (2) the agreement was unconscionable* when it was executed because, before executing the agreement, that party:
- Wasn't provided full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property and financial obligations of the other party;
- Didn't voluntarily and expressly waive (in writing) any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided;
- Didn't have (or couldn't have had) adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party; or
- Didn't consult with his or her own attorney, and didn't voluntarily and expressly waive (in writing) the opportunity to consult with his or her own attorney.
New Jersey Statutes
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements: Related Resources
If you'd like more information and resources related to this topic, you can click on the following links:
Have Questions About New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements? Contact an Attorney
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document, and as such, must comply with all applicable laws to be valid. So, whether you're thinking about drafting a prenuptial agreement, or your soon-to-be spouse has presented you with one, it's a good idea to consult with an experienced family law attorney in New Jersey to understand how the agreement will impact you.