Non-Marital Agreements in New Jersey
There are many couples in the world who choose to get married. However, there are also many couples who want to spend their lives together but do not wish to be married. Marriage provides couples with a high degree of security moving forward in their lives together. Often times, non-married couples want those same rights and protections that a married couple can have while staying unmarried. This can be attained with non-marital agreements, also known as cohabitation agreements.
What are the Benefits of a Non-Marital Agreement?
The benefits surrounding a non-marital agreement generally have to do with sharing assets between the couple and the influence they can legally have in each other’s lives. This can include:
- Giving power of attorney to one or both parties
- Allowing each party the right to make health care decisions for the other in the event of an emergency
- Giving each party the ability to be involved in health care decisions regarding their partner
- Allowing both parties to add their partner to a health insurance or life insurance policy
While these are important benefits of the agreement, it can also benefit a couple who wishes to end their relationship. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, this can help protect each individual’s properties in the event that they wish to separate. It can also determine any joint assets and how they should be divided.
How Do I Know if My Agreement is Valid?
It is important to know that there are certain requirements that a non-marital agreement must meet in order for it to be valid. This can include the following:
- Both parties must be given a reasonable amount of time to consider the implications of entering the agreement with their partner before signing it
- Any assets that are mentioned in the agreement must be fully disclosed with the accurate value
- Neither party can be manipulated, coerced, or threatened by the other in order to influence or persuade them into signing the agreement
- Both parties must retain a separate legal counsel when entering the agreement or waive their right to counsel in writing
These guidelines must be followed in order for a non-marital agreement to be considered valid and enforceable by the court. If it is determined that a party entering the agreement withheld information, did not accurately provide information, or coerced their partner during the process, the agreement can be deemed invalid.
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