Couples often decide before marriage to enter an agreement regarding how they will divide assets in the event of a divorce. These documents are called prenuptial agreements, or prenups, for short. Prenups allow couples to establish how they will manage control and division of property, spousal support, and other conditions prior to entering into a marriage. Dunne, Dunne & Cohen, LLC, provides family law services to clients in Kearny and Hoboken, NJ, and throughout the entire state. With more than 50 combined years in practice, F.R. "Chip" Dunne, III, Leonard B. Cohen, and Frederick R. Dunne, Jr., can draft a fair prenuptial agreement to protect your rights.
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
Marriage is a momentous occasion – a time filled with excitement and joy. However, no matter how swept up you may get, it is wise to remain responsible and cautious. Prenups help prospective spouses define the terms of their marriage, protect one another from debts, keep property in the family, clarify marital responsibilities, and much more. While some might consider prenuptial agreements unromantic, they are nonetheless very pragmatic and can save both parties an incredible amount of stress and financial hardship should the marriage come to an end.
Prenups help spouses define the terms of their marriage, protect one another from debts, keep property in the family, and clarify marital responsibilities.
New Jersey passed the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) in the late '80s to necessitate that premarital agreements be made in writing. It also states that these agreements must be signed by both parties and contain a statement of assets. The idea behind the UPAA is to ensure a fair disclosure of each spouse’s financial information prior to marriage. The premarital agreement can only be revoked or amended by written agreement signed by both parties.
What Issues Can a Prenuptial Agreement Address?
Prenuptial agreements protect you in the event of a divorce by addressing issues such as:
- Property – Prenuptial agreements can address how separate property and joint property will be managed and divided. These agreements can define the parameters for buying, selling, leasing, assigning, transferring, exchanging, abandoning, disposing, or in any other way managing or controlling property.
- Alimony – Spousal support, or alimony, is designed to ensure that, after a divorce, a spouse with fewer resources can maintain the same standard of living they had during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements can modify or eliminate alimony.
- Arrangements – Prenuptial agreements can address the making of trusts, wills, and other arrangements to be carried out should either spouse become disabled or pass away.
- Obligations – Personal rights and obligations can be defined in a prenuptial agreement.
Is There Anything a Prenup Does Not Cover?
While prenuptial agreements are very comprehensive and define what will happen in most “what if” scenarios, they do not cover child support and child custody. These issues are decided by the court based on what is in the best interests of the child at the time, which includes specifics that cannot be predicted. This helps prevent scenarios such as a parent gaining custody over a child they are not fit to care for.
Draft or Review an Agreement
If you are planning on getting married and want peace of mind for what the future might hold, consider a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can ensure your rights and property are protected in case of a divorce. Our team of attorneys at Dunne, Dunne & Cohen have the background and sensitivity to handle various family law matters. Learn more about getting started by calling (732) 955-0337 or contact the firm online.