Premarital & Reconciliation Agreements in Hackensack
Serving Families throughout Bergen County
Premarital agreements are between two people who intend to get married and wish to set forth in advance the terms and provisions that will be necessary in case of divorce or death. A premarital agreement can serve the very useful purpose of cutting down on litigation costs and simplifying any future divorce proceeding by establishing the parties’ expectations up front.
In the state of New Jersey, the enforceability and requirements of premarital agreements are set forth in the “Uniform Premarital and Pre-Civil Union Agreement Act” statute, or N.J.S.A. 37:2-31. This statute sets forth the formalities, contents, and requirements for enforceability of a premarital agreement.
To learn more about if a premarital agreement is right for you, call our Hackensack family lawyers at Laterra & Hodge, LLC. We can be reached at (201) 580-2240.
Conditions for a Premarital Agreement
For a premarital agreement to be enforceable, the agreement must be entered into with full disclosure. Essentially one party cannot agree to waive any interest in support or assets if they are not aware of what income (upon which support would be based) or assets the other party has.
In addition, the agreement must be entered into without coercion or duress. It is always best that both parties have an attorney, and that the premarital agreement be entered into sufficiently in advance of the wedding. Many have argued, some more successfully than others, that a premarital agreement handed to one party for the first time on the eve of the wedding is inherently coercive.
Even in the presence of full disclosure and the absence of coercion, premarital agreements must also be deemed to not be unconscionable.
Mid-Marital & Reconciliation Agreements
New Jersey also recognizes mid-marital agreements, also known as reconciliation agreements. Like premarital agreements, these are agreements that govern the parties’ prospective rights in the event of a divorce.
Unlike premarital agreements, however, mid-marital agreements are not entered into prior to the marriage, but during the marriage. Specifically, they are entered into at a point in time when marital discord has broken down the marriage, and entry into the agreement has become a component of the parties’ reconciliation.
Courts will enforce these agreements, but they will also scrutinize them more carefully than premarital agreements. The reason for this is that there is an inherently higher potential for coercion in reconciliation agreements, given the dynamics of the parties, as husband and wife, entering into it.
At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, our Hackensack family law attorneys have drafted many premarital and reconciliation agreements. Allow us to assist you in the negotiation, drafting, enforcement and opposition of your agreements.
Call (201) 580-2240 to schedule your free initial consultation.