You might be scared to bring it up with your future spouse—no one likes to think about the demise of their marriage before it even starts. However, a prenuptial agreement is a prudent way to ensure that both you and your spouse’s best interests are protected, as well as those of your children from a previous marriage. If you’re wondering whether you may need a prenuptial agreement, read on for some reasons you should consider creating one.
1. You or your future spouse have pre-existing assets or debts
Creating a prenuptial agreement gives you an opportunity to exchange a complete rundown of your finances with your partner before you’re legally linked to that person. Under New Jersey law, you’re required to make full disclosure of all of your accounts, financial instruments, and debts before entering a prenuptial agreement, which gives you a good chance to see where you each stand. While a prenuptial agreement can govern your finances in great detail, it doesn’t have to. You can customize your prenup completely and rely on New Jersey state law guidelines to fill in the remaining gaps in the separation of your property.
2. You’re getting married for the second time, or otherwise have children from a prior relationship
If you are getting married for a second time, you may have ongoing alimony payments or children from a prior relationship. You’ve likely been working for some time and may have accrued valuable assets during that time. Entering into a prenuptial agreement can help you ensure that your assets going into the marriage are protected for your children’s eventual inheritance.
3. You want to know that, in the event of a divorce, that separation will go quickly and painlessly
Reaching a decision on how you will want to divide your assets and handle alimony while you’re still on excellent terms with your spouse can make any eventual divorce faster and less expensive than attempting to reach an agreement at the end of the marriage. You can outline how long you wish alimony payments to last, as well as an amount each party thinks, is fair, in the event of divorce (although, be careful that the amount is in fact fair, or the agreement may be found unenforceable by a court). Additionally, New Jersey requires couples entering a prenuptial agreement to each have their own attorney advise them on the agreement, which ensures that the parties have a full and fair understanding of the agreement before they commit to it.
If you would like to consult with a skilled family lawyer on how a prenuptial agreement might benefit you, contact the Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss for a consultation, at (505) 405-4441.