When Should I Create a Postnuptial Agreement in New Jersey?
Postnuptial agreements are utilized by already married couples. To learn more, continue reading and reach out to our skilled marital agreement attorneys in Morris County, NJ.
What is a postnuptial agreement in New Jersey?
Postnuptial agreements are legal agreements signed between a couple that is already married. As with prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements are developed to support one or both parties in a marriage to secure and determine individual rights concerning assets or income in the occurrence of divorce or death.
Some of the most common reasons married couples join into a postnuptial agreement include:
- They did not specify their financial relationship in a prenuptial agreement, and now would like to
- One party’s financial circumstances have changed significantly (i.e. a large inheritance, promotion or new employment, the acquisition of stock options, or the pending sale of a business)
- Financial insecurity or uncertainty is damaging the marriage
- The couple hopes to determine the equitable distribution of assets instead of having it defined for them by a court
- One or both parties wishes to provide for children from a previous marriage
What makes a postnuptial agreement valid?
Similar to prenuptial agreements, there are a number of requirements that must be met in order for a postnuptial agreement to be considered legally valid and enforceable:
- Legal Representation: Each party has independent legal counsel, or explicitly waives their right to counsel in writing.
- Full Disclosure: Any of the financial assets discussed in the agreement are fully, and accurately, disclosed. For instance, if a postnuptial agreement has terms about a private business, if that business or any related component is incorrectly valued, either by mistake or consciously, the entirety of that postnuptial agreement will most likely be considered invalid.
- Fair and Reasonable: The terms summarized in a postnuptial agreement must be fair and reasonable to both parties. If a court finds that one party is overly profited by the agreement, or one party is particularly disadvantaged, they may ignore the legality of the postnuptial agreement.
- Willful Participation: There must be no proof of duress, manipulation, coercion, or deceit by one party to the other.
- Time for Consideration: Finally, both parties must be provided with a reasonable amount of time to view the postnuptial agreement, and reach an informed and thoughtful decision about whether or not to sign it.
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