Many people are familiar with prenuptial agreements. These are the agreements that engaged couples sign before they marry that state how their assets will be divided in the event of their divorce. Often, they also include statements about how each partner’s assets will be divided in the event of their passing. This is an especially common practice among individuals entering their second or subsequent marriages who have children from previous relationships.
A post-nuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement. The difference is that a post-nuptial agreement is signed after a couple is married, whereas a prenuptial agreement is signed before the marriage. Both can be used to clarify ownership of specific assets, which can make the divorce process much quicker in the event the couple chooses to split.
Should I Sign a Post-Nuptial Agreement?
If you have assets that you want to ensure remain in your possession after a divorce, or assets that you want to ensure go to your child or another relative, you should sign a post-nuptial agreement. In New Jersey, you are permitted to include specifications about spousal support following your divorce, including waiving your right to seek it altogether.
One partner cannot file a valid post-nuptial agreement without the other’s consent. If your post-nuptial agreement is later found to be fraudulent, or if it is found to have been made under coercion or a threat to one or both parties, it will not be legally valid.
What Should I Include in my Post-Nuptial Agreement?
Talk to your spouse about your expectations for your post-nuptial agreement before you meet with a lawyer to draft and sign it. You can include any provision related to the financial aspects of your marriage, such as:
Issues related to spousal support
Each partner’s right to lease, sell, or alter certain assets
The division of your assets in the event of your divorce
Whether certain assets are considered separate or marital property in your divorce
Issues related to wills, life insurance policies, and trusts
Enforceable determinations regarding finances in your marriage, such as how marital funds are to be spent
You cannot include specifications for your minor children’s care or support in the event of a divorce in your post-nuptial agreement. These issues must be determined by the court, which considers various factors about a child’s lifestyle and their parents’ resources and parenting fitness to create orders that are in the children’s best interest. Similarly, you cannot include specifications about your lifestyle during your marriage, such as where you will live, the number of children you will have, or your relationships with others during the marriage.
Haddonfield Divorce Lawyers at Kearney, Burns & Martone Can Help You Craft an Effective Post-Nuptial Agreement
A post-nuptial agreement is merely a guideline for the division of your assets in the event of your divorce or the passing of either you or your spouse. Complete our online contact form or call 856-547-7733 to schedule your confidential consultation with a of Haddonfield divorce lawyer at Kearney, Burns & Martone. We are located in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, and serve clients from Gloucester County, Camden County, and Burlington County.