Bergen County Marital Agreements Lawyer
Many people who enter into a marriage willingly place their financial future entirely in the hands of the other party. While the individuals in the relationship may certainly handle their finances as they see fit, the story could quickly change if they enter a divorce.
Courts in New Jersey are obligated to split the assets and obligations of former spouses equitably. While this often involves an equal split, the court could divide this property in any way that it sees fit. This may leave one former spouse in a situation where they forfeit significant assets that they had even before getting married.
A Bergen County marital agreements lawyer could fight to protect your assets and future. By helping you learn about varying types of marital agreements, a skilled family attorney could answer your legal questions and help you choose the agreement which works for you.
The Benefits of Marital Agreements
Any dissolution of marriage is a legal process. Even if the two parties agree to the need for a divorce, they must still petition for a court to hear the matter. From orders to provide spousal support to determining the custody of children and the division of property, a divorce could set the legal groundwork for the rest of a person’s life.
A marital agreement could provide some certainty as to how this process may go. These agreements are contracts willingly signed by both parties that, among other matters, stipulate how property should be divided in case of a divorce. This can be especially important considering the power of courts to divide all assets of formerly married people.
As stated by New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:34-23.1, family courts have an obligation to make an equitable division of assets at the end of a marriage. Some of the many factors that courts examine when performing this duty include:
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to support themselves
- Any infidelity or poor behavior that led to the divorce
It should be noted that a marital agreement could render these hearings moot. If the parties willingly enter into a marriage agreement, the court could accept their wishes when dividing assets. A Bergen County attorney could help people better understand the purpose and function of marital agreements.
When Are Couples Allowed to Enter Into a Marital Agreement?
A couple might enter into a marital agreement at any time during their relationship. The most common of these agreements is a prenuptial agreement, which is made before two people enter the legal bond of marriage. Couples could also enter into a postnuptial agreement after they get married. While this type of agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, it can only be initiated after a marriage begins rather than before.
Alternatively, spouses may enter into a separation agreement. This typically occurs if the two parties suspect they may get divorced in the near future and no longer share the same home. If necessary, a separation agreement could be integrated into a divorce decree. A marital agreements lawyer in Bergen County could help people decide on which marriage document works best for their situation.
A Bergen County Marital Agreements Attorney Could Provide Guidance
There are numerous reasons why a couple may choose to enter a marital agreement. Typically, people wish to protect their assets in the event of a breakdown of a marriage. To that end, a marital contract could serve to let a court know that the two parties wish for a certain outcome in a divorce and protect their assets if there is a breakdown of their marriage.
A Bergen County marital agreements lawyer could help you understand marital agreements and how they could impact your future. While entering into a divorce without a preexisting agreement is a potential risk, having a marital agreement could provide certainty in an uncertain time. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.