Fort Lee Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer
Postnuptial agreements are arrangements that spouses make after they are married that often deal with financial issues and address matters not previously contemplated or addressed in a prenuptial agreement. This contract can also protect new assets acquired during the marriage.
A Fort Lee postnuptial agreements lawyer could help spouses determine issues they are having difficulty addressing alone. In certain instances, even separations or divorces can be avoided through the advice of qualified legal counsel, and a postnuptial agreement can be the vehicle that shields or protects spouses from potential losses.
Postnuptial Agreement Requirements
Under New Jersey law, a valid postnuptial agreement must be in writing, and verbal agreements will not be authorized. A postnuptial contract further stipulates what is separate and distinct from the marriage, and changes can be made at a later date upon the consent of all parties.
Postnuptial agreements must also be notarized. The notary requirement deters fraud and ensures the proper execution of the document. The notary public validates the signatures of each signatory and certifies that the documents are appropriately executed. This requirement reduces the likelihood that a spouse is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, duress, or coercion at the time of signing. Representation by local legal counsel also diminishes these risks.
Finally, a postnuptial agreement can only be made if there is full and fair disclosure by the parties of all material assets, financial obligations, fiscal responsibilities, and potential future income, including inheritances, interest payments, and life insurance. Failure to fully disclose these financial statements could result in the invalidation of the agreement, especially if the disclosure would affect a spouse’s willingness to agree.
Factors Invalidating Postnuptial Agreements
Retaining a divorce lawyer can benefit both spouses. A court will only honor agreements made at the end of a marriage in consideration of a divorce if the agreement is both fair and equitable concerning both spouses’ economic rights. A contract that materially disadvantages one spouse may be considered inequitable by the courts and thus unenforceable. A nearby lawyer could review the terms of the prospective postnuptial contract against statutes and case law to ensure the c honors the parties’ intentions and that it will withstand judicial scrutiny if challenged in court.
Several factors will disqualify a postnuptial agreement:
- Agreements made under duress;
- Inequitable agreements;
- Inherently coercive arrangements;
- Oral agreements;
- Financial dependence (especially for the unemployed spouse);
- Illegal agreements
Just because the spouses agree upon an arrangement does not mean the contract is valid or legal. For example, if a spouse is faced with an ultimatum to sign the agreement, they would not be considered on equal footing and the validity of the contract could be called into question. While mid-marriage contracts are enforceable, the courts will look at the standing of each spouse in relation to the marriage, in addition to the effect the agreement has upon each spouse to ascertain the agreement’s validity.
Contact a Fort Lee Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer Today
If you or your spouse have questions about postnuptial agreements, you should each seek your own Fort Lee postnuptial agreement lawyer’s advice. Your lawyer could review your assets and interests, draft a prospective agreement, and ensure that your rights are protected. The end product should leave both spouses confident about the arrangement.
Before signing any major, life-altering legal document, you should always retain legal counsel. Challenging the agreement’s validity after executing it will be a complicated process if both parties already agreed to the terms beforehand. If you would like to learn more about marital agreements, call today for a case evaluation.