New Jersey residents unfamiliar with prenuptial agreements are bound to have many questions about what they may or may not include in one. A judge is unlikely to enforce a prenup that contains invalid provisions. Fortunately, the laws of the state provide some guidance that may help you keep your prenuptial agreement valid in the eyes of a Garden State judge.
FindLaw explains what state law allows a prenuptial agreement to address. Basically, couples may take care of many issues that are not already governed by public policy. So if state law already addresses an issue that is typically handled in divorce, such as child custody, a prenuptial agreement has no power to override it.
State law does permit couples to address how they manage their property. Each spouse may define his or her rights as it pertains to property. This helps couples sort out who gets what in the event they divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also govern how to divide property in a divorce or if one of the spouses dies, in addition to other eventualities that may require the distribution of property.
New Jersey prenups can accomplish other objectives. As part of a couple, you may dictate how spousal support should proceed after a divorce. You may also use your prenup to create a will or a trust to implement the prenuptial agreement, or to address how to disperse the death benefit from your life insurance policy. Couples can also choose the law that oversees the composition of their agreement.
As previously mentioned, state law prohibits enforcement of a prenuptial agreement under certain conditions. Each spouse should enter into the agreement of his or her own accord. Also, spouses are to fully disclose their earnings and properties unless the other spouse waived the right to know that information. Spouses must also retain legal representation unless a spouse explicitly waived in writing the right to legal consultation.
Prenuptial agreements may involve matters that are not specifically addressed by the law, and it may require consultation with legal counsel to understand a particular issue. Since legal matters with prenups will vary, do not read the preceding information as legal advice; it is only meant for educational purposes.