Are you wealthy? Do you run your own business? Are you being married for the second time? Then you may want a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are, as the name suggests, entered into before marriage by both parties. The primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to protect the wealth of one party in the event of a subsequent divorce. In effect, the prenuptial agreement establishes the terms of settlement in the event of divorce.
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable? They are if the protected party makes full disclosure of his or her finances, the agreement is fair when entered and the agreement is fair when enforced. If both parties are advised by competent counsel in "striking the deal," the agreement is more likely to be enforceable. However, in truly long-term marriages, such agreements are less likely to be enforced; the passage of time makes the agreement "stale."
Will you owe support to a "significant other" at the end of a relationship? This had been a vexing question for the New Jersey courts for many years. No longer. The state recently passed legislation requiring that any agreement to pay support to a nonspouse be in writing and signed by the party making the promise of support. However, this law was passed only in January 2010; there remains some question whether it applies retroactively. If not, verbal promises of support made before that date may retain vitality. Stay tuned.
I have drafted many prenuptial agreements that have not been contested and I have successfully served as a defense attorney and defended palimony claims before enactment of the legislation referenced above.
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Call me at 908-336-0268 or send me an e-mail to schedule a meeting with an experienced prenuptial agreement lawyer in Somerville, New Jersey. I look forward to hearing from you. Your initial consultation is an important step in securing and protecting your legal rights.