Congratulations on your engagement! You have so much to look forward to and must be so excited (and a little bit stressed) with wedding planning and 237 other details that need to be considered as you and your fiancé plan the next chapter of your lives together. One of those details might be the need for a prenuptial agreement.
Unfortunately, discussing a prenuptial agreement is not at all exciting and, if handled incorrectly, can put an unnecessary damper on the happiness you deserve right now. We understand that and we are here to walk you through the process as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
A prenuptial agreement allows you to devote your energies to the marriage itself instead of worrying about future legal ramifications in the event your marriage ends — whether it be through divorce or death. It can ensure that premarital assets are protected, even if you do not keep them strictly separate and untouched during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can also allow you to leave certain assets to your children from a previous relationship by legally securing such provisions you include in your will. It can assure your other loved ones that family businesses or inheritances will stay within your family in the event of your death or divorce.
It is vital to work with legal counsel who can create documents that fully meet your needs, while being able to withstand a judge's scrutiny if necessary. We have a comprehensive understanding of the ever-changing laws surrounding prenuptial agreements. With our experience and knowledge, we are fully prepared to help you accomplish your objectives and address any concerns you may have.
Under New Jersey law, a prenuptial agreement must meet the following conditions:
Courts must examine various factors when determining whether a prenuptial agreement is unconscionable. For example, both parties must provide full and fair disclosure of their earnings, property and financial obligations. If one party waives this requirement (though we would never advise you to do so), it must be voluntary and in writing. Moreover, if one party did not, or reasonably could not, have had knowledge of the other party's financial obligations, the agreement will be unconscionable and, therefore, void.
Another factor relates to consulting with a lawyer prior to executing the agreement. Both parties must seek their own independent legal counsel prior to entering into a prenuptial agreement or must waive in writing the right to do so. (Please note that prenuptial agreements executed on or before June 27, 2013 must adhere to slightly different requirements.)
Our attorneys offer you the seasoned legal judgment in these matters that can only be gained from years of experience. In fact, Laura Ruvolo Lipp and Melissa Ruvolo co-authored an article published in the September 16, 2013, issue of the New Jersey Law Journal, concerning the law related to prenuptial agreements. Our knowledge provides meaningful benefits to clients desiring to enter into a prenuptial agreement.
Our goal in working with you on your prenuptial agreement is to guide you through the process as smoothly and painlessly as possible to protect your legal rights, while also celebrating and respecting your relationship with the person you are about to marry. We want nothing more than for you to walk away from the experience with a solid prenuptial agreement that will protect you in court if ever needed but will preferably be locked away and forgotten about as you enjoy a long, happy and healthy life together.
If you need to have a prenuptial agreement prepared or reviewed, we invite you to contact Family Focused Legal Solutions online or schedule an initial consultation by calling our office at 973-993-9960. Our firm serves the greater part of North and Central Jersey including but not limited to Morris County, Somerset County, Bergen County and Sussex County. All communications are strictly confidential.