Things to Consider when Creating a Passaic County Prenuptial Agreement
Essentially, a prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two parties prior to their marriage. This contract outlines each individual’s rights and obligations should the marriage eventually terminate. Reasons why individuals enter into these agreements can vary widely, and are usually used to clarify both individuals’ expectations, help avoid uncertainties and help alleviate fears of either party before entering into the marriage. However, before entering into any prenuptial agreement or any legal contract it is important to have an experienced lawyer at your side who can guide you through the implications and legal ramifications of your agreement.
The New Jersey family lawyers at The Montanari Law Group regularly aid clients in Passaic and Essex counties with prenuptial agreements and other family law matters. From our offices in Woodland Park, it has been our honor to serve as trusted legal resources for surrounding communities. If you have questions regarding a prenuptial agreement or another family law matter, contact us online or by phone today at (973) 233-4396 for a free consultation.
Passaic County & Essex County Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
1st Consideration – The Wedding Date
It is customary for courts to focus on whether the time provided allowed the other party to review the terms and conditions of the agreement. Thus, when contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement, it is critically important to ensure that your spouse will have enough time to read, review and consider the agreement.
2nd Consideration – Does your spouse have the ability to hire an attorney to represent their interest?
It is important to understand not only the time frame needed to have a prenuptial agreement drafted and provided to your spouse, but also the effect this time frame has upon your spouse’s ability to retain counsel of their own choosing to review this agreement. The more time provided, the greater ability to retain counsel to review the agreement, and the more likely an prenuptial agreement will be enforced.
3rd Consideration – Seek independent counsel
Very relevant to if a Court will find a prenuptial agreement to be valid is whether the other party was affirmatively informed to seek independent counsel. When a party has been affirmatively encouraged to seek out and retain independent counsel of his or her own choosing to review the agreement, it is more likely that they will be deemed to have been given the ability and opportunity to seek independent counsel.
The New Jersey case of D’Onofrio v. D’Onofrio, found that the Husband’s attorney affirmatively informed the wife that she should retain independent counsel. The Court concluded that the wife had essentially waived her right to seek independent counsel, and that the prenuptial agreement would be upheld.
4th Consideration – Production of final disclosure
Two New Jersey cases that also analyzed the amount of disclosure needed to satisfy the “full disclosure standard”. In the case of Marschall v. Marschall, the Court found that the easiest way to ensure full disclosure is to annex to the agreement a complete listing of the approximate values of the assets involved in the prenuptial agreement.
Moreover, in the case of De Lorean v. De Lorean, the Court confirmed that “full and complete” disclosure means detailed disclosure. In finding that full disclosure means detailed disclosure, the Court stated that the only sure way to ensure full compliance with full financial disclosure when a prenuptial agreement is executed, would be to require a written list of assets and income to be annexed to the agreement.
5th Consideration – Fair and Reasonable Terms
As to notions of fairness and reasonableness, a standard generally utilized is that of “unconscionability”, namely, agreements whose terms are extremely harsh and unfair. Unconscionability is typically defined as an agreement that no sensible person would offer and no sensible person, who is not under duress or delusion, would accept.
6th Consideration – Prenuptial arrangements of Child Custody and Child Support Are Not Enforceable.
It is important to note the one provision that will not be found to be valid and will be unenforceable in any prenuptial contract is any agreement that attempts to be binding on issues of child custody. Individuals can’t agree in advance on how to resolve custody. The Court is the ultimate decision maker as to the issue of child custody and the best-interests of the children will always be the standard used. In addition, an prenuptial agreement attempting to resolve child support issues is not binding on the Court.
Contact a Wayne NJ Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer for Answers
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is crucial that you have an experienced and dedicated lawyer to help you understand your rights and your options. The prenuptial agreement attorneys at The Montanari Law Group have decades of experience working with clients in Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, Patterson, West Millford, Woodland Park, and all over Passaic County. Contact our attorneys in Passaic County at (973) 233-4396 to speak with an experienced NJ family lawyer.