When people get married, they are usually caught up in the emotional journey of their union. Few people consider the implications a divorce would have on their assets if the marriage didn’t work out. Unfortunately, divorce is a very real possibility. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce and those divorces will often end with a judge’s decision on matters, including spousal support, child support, child custody, and division of marital property. It is important for people to protect their pre-marital assets from such an event. People will often ignore the usefulness of a prenuptial agreement because of the preconceived notion that it sends a message of distrust. That is not the case. Many times, people will consider a prenuptial agreement because it takes the money out of the whole arrangement leaving only what matters. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is available to offer any legal advice and draft a durable prenuptial agreement.
Marital Property and Separate Property
Everyone should consider protecting his or her assets from unforeseen circumstances. Both the modest living to the high net worth individuals have assets that they wish to stay separate property and a prenuptial agreement is a good way to protect those things. In New Jersey, one of the most contested issues addressed in divorce cases is distribution of assets. New Jersey divides assets in an equitable fashion, which means it allocates marital property in a fair and just manner for both parties. There are two types of assets. Marital property and separate property. Marital property is an asset brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is more complicated to define, but it includes assets:
Separate property can become marital property
In some cases, separate property can easily become marital property. A change of title to the other party or to a joint title changes separate property into a marital asset. This is called transmutation. When a property becomes “commingled”, like a home, the finances are muddled and it is harder to decipher marital and separate property. Lastly, the appreciation of separate property can change some of an asset into marital property. If the non-titled spouse can document their contribution to the appreciation of a property, some or all of that appreciation may be considered marital property.
Prenuptial agreements explained
Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts drafted and signed before a marriage. They detail the settlement of the couple’s affairs in the case of divorce, separation, or death. According to New Jersey law, there may be no language related to child support or custody. The court must act in the child’s best interests and an agreed upon arrangement before a marriage does not allow for the court to fulfill that obligation. A valid prenuptial agreement must:
Why use a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are prepared to address a wide variety of issues. They protect separate property and detail what happens in the case of divorce. They can include property, inheritance, and appreciation of property during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements can also detail what would happen in case of certain situations, including fidelity, alimony, and real estate clauses.
Contact a Sparta firm to guide you through prenuptial agreements
At Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC, we understand that spouses may need to protect assets against unforeseen circumstances. Our experienced and diligent attorneys know what is necessary to protect your assets from the possibility of divorce. If you are in need of legal advice or someone to draft a durable prenuptial agreement, Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is here to serve. Call us for a discreet consultation today.
48 Sparta Avenue
Sparta, NJ 07871