Services

16. Prenuptial Agreements

Gloucester County Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers Located in Woodbury, NJ

Skilled Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys in Woodbury, NJ Help Clients With Premarital Agreements in Gloucester County and Throughout South Jersey

So you’re getting married—congratulations! Amid the planning, flowers, love and romance, you need to consider this: What do you want to happen if this relationship were to fail? Do you want your future to be determined by the courts or would you prefer to answer that question now, saving you and your beloved future headaches?

It’s totally understandable that many couples are concerned about protecting their interests as they enter a marriage. After all, a marriage is a combination of assets, in addition to a commitment to a shared life. Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool in ensuring your interests are protected no matter what life throws at you down the line.

At Smedley Law Group, our prenuptial agreements attorneys in Woodbury, NJ have been helping clients navigate complex family law issues for nearly two decades. Our practice is devoted exclusively to family law matters. When it comes to negotiating prenuptial agreements, we have the skills and experience you want in your corner.

A prenup is a legal document that outlines basic rights and obligations for you and your spouse in the event of divorce. It can be an important tool in protecting your assets and finances—but a prenup can also help smooth the divorce process down the road. Having the right lawyer by your side when negotiating the prenuptial agreement is critical. We can help you understand the practical implications of the agreement and make sure your rights are protected.

If you’re considering divorce and want to learn more about the impact of your existing prenuptial agreement, we can help with that too. Just arrange a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys and we’ll sit down to discuss your unique situation.

What Issues Can Be Resolved Using a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is often viewed as an underhanded trick to play on your significant other during a time when you should be celebrating your love for one another. In fact, if you’re truly in love, why would you even be thinking about divorce?

There are plenty of reasons to want a prenup: 

1. PROVIDES PREDETERMINED DETAILS FOR SPOUSAL SUPPORT

A prenup can be as specific as you want it to be regarding how much you’ll receive or pay in alimony after a divorce. Circumstances such as illness and infidelity can be addressed, as well as how alimony will be distributed: a lump sum, monthly payments, or quarterly payments. Making these decisions now can save a lot of headaches and heartaches in the future. In addition, you can mutually waive alimony, especially if both spouses come from an equal financial footing, and they don’t anticipate that one party will sacrifice earning capacity during the marriage.

2. PROTECTS PREMARITAL ASSETS AND DEBTS

Many prenups state that assets brought into the marriage remain that person’s separate property, while any assets the couple earns during the marriage are subject to division. This approach is often considered fair, as it protects the premarital assets from alimony considerations—and can also be used to ensure that both parties are responsible for any personal debts they bring into the marriage.

3. CLEARLY DEFINES FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

A prenup can help you clearly define what household bills each spouse will carry in the relationship if you’re not sharing all your accounts.

4. WAIVES ALIMONY RIGHTS

Although some states prohibit and limit your ability to give up your alimony rights, others allow you to waive alimony. If you’re the breadwinner and you wish to carry out this right, the prenup must clearly state that there will be no award of spousal support to your ex after divorce. If you don’t include this clause, you could be ordered to pay alimony to your ex to maintain the lifestyle he or she became accustomed to while married to you.

A prenuptial agreement, when carried out correctly, is meant to protect and support both parties equally, making an unexpected split—and life thereafter—as smooth as possible. Since the court will strive to uphold the conditions of the prenup in a typical divorce case, it’s important to be transparent and specific with your wishes and concerns when writing your agreement. As always, it’s best to work with a family law attorney to learn what’s possible and recommended in your particular scenario.

If you’re interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements or if your fiance has presented you with an agreement you’d like to understand before you sign, contact us today to arrange a consultation. We’ll go over your situation and help you understand your rights.

What’s Needed for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement?

Certain “formalities” must be observed in order for any contract to be legally binding. With respect to prenuptial agreements, the Uniform and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act (UPPA) provides that the following must be true for the agreement to stand up in court:

Unlike other contracts, no “consideration” is required for a prenuptial agreement to be valid.  If the prenuptial agreement isn’t valid, it can be set aside entirely—meaning that you’ll be required to renegotiate issues like spousal support and equitable distribution upon divorce.

There may also be other circumstances where a prenuptial agreement can be challenged at a later date. Some examples include:

Challenging the validity of a prenuptial agreement can be complex. You should always consult with a lawyer who has substantial experience handling family law matters before jumping in. To learn more about whether your prenuptial agreement is valid, call for a consultation with our qualified family law attorneys today.

Contact an Experienced Woodbury Prenuptial Agreement Attorney to Discuss Your Questions Today

The decision to get married is one of the most significant that most people make. It’s important to make sure you understand all aspects of the equation beforehand. Our trusted Woodbury, NJ prenuptial agreement attorneys at Smedley Law Group are here to help you find solutions that best suit your needs and goals. We’re Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys—a designation given by the New Jersey Supreme Court to reflect our expertise in family law matters. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today to arrange a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements

FAQ: Why is it beneficial to enter into a prenuptial agreement before marriage?

The primary benefit of a prenuptial agreement is that it can clarify expectations. When each party knows what to expect in the event of a divorce, it may be possible to avoid expensive and lengthy court proceedings if the parties do decide to divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can also be used to protect family assets, giving the family of the couple greater security in knowing that their assets won’t be jeopardized in a later divorce.

FAQ: Are there any situations where a prenuptial is especially beneficial?

Yes. While any couple should consider a prenup before marriage, there are some situations where the prenuptial agreement may be more valuable than others. Those include:

– One party owns a business that should be preserved in the event of divorce.
– One party has significantly more valuable assets than the other.
– There are second marriages and situations involving blended families where one party may wish to protect children from a prior marriage.
– One party anticipates receiving a large inheritance at some point in the future.
– One spouse has significant student loans or other debts.
– The parties are concerned about privacy and want to avoid extensive financial inquiries in the future.

Chess set

Ready to throw out the status quo?

Book a consult today.

Our powerhouse team of attorneys have chosen to devote their entire practice to family law, ensuring you have a support system of strong litigators who’ll work on your behalf in your unique situation. We listen and talk with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes, and then work with you to achieve them through our advocacy.

take that first step