What a Prenuptial Agreement Can Legally Do
According to a national survey, 44 percent of individuals who are currently single believe that a prenuptial agreement is worth pursuing. However, such an agreement cannot cover every issue that a couple may encounter should they decide to legally part ways.
Prenuptial Agreements Can Determine How Assets Are Divided
One of the main benefits of a prenuptial agreement is that it can dictate, fairly and legally, how assets will be divided during divorce proceedings. This can include debts or equity that may have accrued in an asset that has yet to be fully paid for. Furthermore, it can help determine:
- How to label property brought into a marriage
- How to divide retirement accounts owned by either spouse
- How to handle an inheritance
Taking care of these and other issues before your marriage can benefit you in the long term as the terms of such an agreement are usually created when both sides are calm and objective. Once divorce proceedings begin, you and your former spouse may be tempted to base decisions on emotion, which rarely works out well. The best divorce lawyer will help you stick to the terms of your prenuptial agreement and make decisions objectively and fairly.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Not Cover?
A prenuptial agreement generally cannot cover any issues related to child support or child custody. This must be resolved in a family court, and the terms of a child custody order are made with the best interests of the child in mind. Usually, this means that both you and the child’s other parent have the right to see the child regardless of how you feel about it, unless one parent is found unfit for child custody.
Child support orders are typically based on a parent’s income as well as how many children a parent has to support. It is important to note that it may be possible to include terms related to guardianship or how to provide for a child in a will or other document. Parents may also create a parenting plan on their own that could be approved by a judge.
Is Your Agreement Valid?
There are many ways to ensure that your prenuptial agreement will stand up in court. For best results, you should:
- Create the agreement months before the wedding
- Have it reviewed by an attorney
- Include reasonable terms in the document
If your prenuptial agreement should include any terms that are deemed unenforceable, a court may reject them or simply ignore the entire document. The same is true if there is reason to believe that the agreement was created under duress. Once you and your spouse are married, it is generally not possible to amend the agreement.
Instead, it will likely be necessary to create a postnuptial agreement. Working with the best divorce lawyer in New Jersey may help you better understand the process of creating such an arrangement or how to create one that is in your best interest.
What Happens If a Prenuptial Agreement Is Successfully Challenged?
If a prenuptial agreement is successfully challenged, you will likely need to spend more time negotiating new divorce terms. In most cases, only portions of these documents are overturned or thrown out, so you may avoid having to negotiate an entire new divorce deal.
Assuming that the deal is properly crafted, it can serve as a custom divorce contract that overrides community property or equitable distribution laws. Furthermore, challenging a prenuptial agreement costs time and money, which may defeat the purpose of creating it in the first place. Therefore, as long as you have done your due diligence before getting married, the odds of a challenge are likely minimal.
If you are going through a divorce, it is generally in your best interest to hire an attorney such as those from the Law Offices of Kelly Berton Rocco. You can contact our office in Hackensack by calling (201) 343-0078 or sending a fax to (201) 343-0089. To get in touch by email, send a message to email@example.com.