While most couples don’t like to contemplate the dissolution of their marriage before it’s even begun, it’s important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney before you tie the knot.
At Salvaggio Law Group, our New Jersey Attorneys frequently work with individuals throughout New Jersey to identify ways in which they can best protect their interests and property in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse. A prenuptial agreement is a legally-binding document that outlines how financial matters will be handled after a marriage has dissolved. These agreements are very important if one or both spouses bring significant assets to the marriage or have children from a previous relationship that they want to protect. Although both parties may be in agreement, each individual must retain their own attorney and disclose all assets and relevant financial information. After an appropriate review period, both parties must sign the agreement for it to be legally binding.
During the course of a marriage, a lot can change. Children often enter the picture; one spouse inherits a large sum of money while the other receives a big promotion, and raise at work. When these changes occur, a couple may find that they need new legal safeguards to protect their individual interests and those of their children. A post-nuptial agreement, also known as a mid-marriage agreement, functions much like a pre-nuptial agreement in that it creates a plan for division of assets in the event of separation, divorce or death. While pre-nuptial agreements generally protect the property that each party brings to the marriage, post-nuptial agreements are designed to address assets acquired during the course of the marriage. It’s important to note that the court is more inclined to evaluate and scrutinize the terms of a post-nuptial agreement to ensure the distribution is fair and there was no fraud involved or undue influence exercised by either of the parties. Working exclusively in family law, the New Jersey Attorneys of Salvaggio Law Group offers specialized experience and knowledge, and will work closely with you to draft a post-nuptial agreement that protects what you’ve worked hard to achieve. If there are any challenges to the agreement, we will defend it in a court of law.
Marital Separation Agreements
Many married couples decide to separate before they take the final step of divorce.In New Jersey, there is really no formal proceeding for a legal separation. A marital separation agreement is a document, agreed upon by both parties, that outlines the terms of the separation including the division of property, how joint debts will be handled, spousal support and even the details of child custody. While this document is not filed with the court, it is legally binding and should be taken very seriously as the terms within the separation agreement are often used as the basis for a Marital Settlement Agreement. If you are contemplating separation from your spouse, it’s imperative that you consult with a family law attorney who can ensure the terms set forth in the agreement are fair and protect your best interests now and in the future.
Marital Settlement Agreements
A Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) contains clauses pertaining to property and debt division, child support and child custody following a divorce. Typically, with this type of agreement, both parties with the help of their attorneys, or a mediator, decide on fair and equitable terms that will accompany the dissolution of the marriage. The MSA is then filed with the court and is included in the divorcing spouses’ final judgment of divorce. It’s important to remember that the MSA will have a long term impact on you and your children as you will continue to be bound by its terms long after your divorce. To ensure your best interests are protected, it’s imperative that you retain an attorney early on in the divorce process.
At Salvaggio Law Group, we understand that legal issues surrounding marriage and divorce are often unpleasant and emotional. We take time to understand your priorities and goals, and then work as a team to reach a cost-effective resolution that protects what matters most to you.
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achi...Read More
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achieved. They were always better prepared and more knowledgeable than the other side's attorney. They also showed me how I could save time and legal fees by doing a lot of the documentation work myself. All of my calls and e-mails to Salvaggio Law Group were promptly addressed, and their interactions with me were always very professional and courteous.Read Less
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achi...
Frequently Asked Questions on Prenuptial Agreements
A Prenuptial Agreement (also called a Premarital Agreement) is a written Agreement which couples can enter into prior to marriage, in order to define each party’s rights and obligations in the event of divorce.
A Prenuptial Agreement becomes effective upon the parties’ marriage. It can be permanent, or the parties can agree that it will expire after the parties are married for a certain number of years. This is known as a “sunset clause.”
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements are permitted to address any matter which is not deemed to be in violation of public policy. Examples of issues which are commonly addressed in New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements include:
- The parties’ property rights and obligations, including their right to manage and control that property as well as what will happen to that property in the event of a divorce, a party’s death or other specified event.
- The creation of a will, trust, or other instrument.
- Life insurance. The two issues which New Jersey Prenuptial Agreements are not permitted to address are: Child custody and parenting time.
- Child support.
Voluntariness, Access to Legal Counsel and Full Disclosure
If one party to a New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement files an action challenging the enforceability of the Agreement, the New Jersey Family Court will first require that the non-challenging party prove that:
- the challenging party entered into the agreement voluntarily;
- the challenging party had the opportunity to have the agreement reviewed by an attorney of his/her choice;
- and the non-challenging party disclosed all of his/her assets, liabilities and income.
If the non-challenging party can prove all of those things, the only way that the Court will refuse to enforce the New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement is if the challenging party can prove that it is now “unconscionable” to enforce it. A New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement will be found to be unconscionable if:
- the challenging party is rendered without a means of reasonable support;
- the challenging party becomes a public charge; or
- the challenging party’s standard of living is far below that enjoyed before the marriage.
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