As delicate and potentially difficult a conversation as mentioning prenups to your spouse may be, there are a lot of reasons to do so. This blog post will address in more detail why you should consider a prenuptial agreement as well as which factors you need to watch out for, so that your prenup doesn’t get invalidated. Reach out to a Sussex County prenuptial agreement attorney if you’d like to understand prenups in more detail. We’ll guide and help you through any decisions, just as we’ve done for all our clients over the years.
What Is a Prenup Anyway?
“Prenup” is an abbreviation for a prenuptial agreement. As the name implies, it’s an agreement between future spouses on what both would like to do in the unfortunate event that the marriage ends.
What Are the Requirements for a Valid Prenup?
If your prenup is to be honored by the court during divorce, the agreement in its conception has to meet several conditions.
Both parties will need to disclose the entirety of their financial records, assets and liabilities together. Additionally, both spouses must have independent legal counsel and they must enter into the prenup voluntarily.
Unfortunately, the statute that codifies requirements for prenups into New Jersey law does not apply to domestic partnerships or to partners living together without having been legally married. If that describes your situation, please seek out a lawyer and ask about other potential legal agreements that might cover the same bases.
Why Are Prenups a Good Idea?
Prenups are very useful for several reasons. A prenup can determine the final disposition of a lot of issues important to a married couple getting a divorce.
Prenups may take care of:
- Amount and term of alimony
- Values of the assets
- As addressed earlier, the distribution of those assets
- Keeping a family business from being split up in the divorce
What Factors Can Invalidate a Prenup?
In the first section, we addressed that giving a spouse enough time to think about and agree to the prenup is a necessary part of the prenup process. This is so (first of all) because of human decency, but also because to be enforceable, prenups cannot be coerced. One spouse rushing the other spouse might be presented as grounds for invalidating the agreement. The hurrying spouse might be seen as pressuring or coercing their partner.
Another reason a prenup might be declared invalid is that the agreement itself is found fraudulent. This could happen, for instance, if one spouse failed to disclose pertinent parts of their financial records by undervaluing their assets or refusing to reveal an asset exists at all.
Finally, the prenup is voidable if the court decides it is an unconscionable agreement. Unconscionable means something so unreasonable, that no reasonable person would agree to it and no honest and fair person would request it.