Getting married? Congratulations! It’s a romantic time, full of love, expectation and happy celebrations. But amidst all these festivities, New Jersey couples should set some time aside for the practicalities that come with legal unions — like whether to consider a prenuptial agreement (a.k.a., a prenup).
While no one expects unhappy endings to their marriage, Tanya Freeman, a divorce and family law attorney at the Weiner Law Group in Parsippany, NJ, wants to ensure that all of her clients who plan to marry understand how prenuptial agreements can protect their money and assets should a divorce happen in the future.
What is a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract that you and your spouse enter into before getting legally married. It details exactly what happens to your finances and assets acquired during your marriage in the event of divorce. One of the strongest benefits of a prenup is that it gives you and your partner control over how money and assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Without one, New Jersey marriage laws will make the determination in addition to how spousal support will be handled.
Aren’t prenups only for the wealthy and do they protect only one spouse?
These are common misconceptions. In fact, prenups work regardless of how much money you have in the bank, or how much you have in assets. They help facilitate detailed and honest discussions on how joint and solo finances, assets and debts will be handled during marriage, and in the event of a divorce. Further, prenuptials must protect both spouses. Transparency is key — both in terms of full disclosure of each individual’s assets and debts, and in the binding of the agreement, as both parties must be present to voluntarily sign with their respective lawyers present. You can also customize the prenup to include as many or as few issues as you, as a couple, want.
Don’t prenups imply a lack of trust in my partner?
While many assume that prenups imply a basic lack of trust in each other, the reality is just the opposite. Prenups help ensure trust, as both parties will need to reveal their assets, debts, and beliefs about how things should work financially in a marriage. Although these issues can be uncomfortable to talk about on the brink of marriage, it’s better to have them decided upon and legally binding in the event of divorce — when hostilities and emotions can complicate the issue.
Tanya Freeman and the dedicated divorce and family law attorneys at Weiner Law Group serve clients throughout New Jersey. Prenuptial agreements give you an opportunity to begin your union based on a solid foundation that will protect both of you in the future. Contact us to learn more.