New Jersey abides by the Uniform Premarital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act. According to the law, prenuptial agreements can be made before a marriage or civil union, which is an important note because it extends the right to same-sex couples.
In order to be considered valid, these agreements must abide by the following standards:
- Both parties must sign it.
- The agreement must be in writing.
- The agreement must have a statement of assets attached to it.
The last piece – the statement of assets – is especially useful in ensuring that both parties have reasonably disclosed their financial information.
While asking for a prenuptial agreement may present an uncomfortable conversation initially, it can save a couple time and money should the marriage come to an end down the road. According to U.S. News & World Report, one of the greatest advantages to having such a document is that the couple’s assets will not be subject to a judge’s discretion when it comes to property division.
Further, simply talking about the agreement can give people more insight into their relationship and their future. For example, if one spouse is opposed to paying alimony and would fight it if the situation arises, the other may be inclined to continue to work or pursue a bigger career.
Experts advise that couples interested in having a prenuptial agreement should not delay until the last minute, as it can create unnecessary stress. While New Jersey law does not permit unconscionable documents, which grant an unfair amount of property to just one person in the relationship, it is still vital that both parties have time to review the document to ascertain that it is fair.
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy. People who own their own business, have children or are expecting an inheritance may want to explore the benefits of putting such a document in place.