Prenups and postnups are marital agreements that couples in New Jersey can use to protect assets in case of divorce or to preserve legal inheritances. These agreements are often developed to establish the terms of the marriage. They set clear expectations for both spouses throughout the marriage.
Two people about to get married create a marital agreement that lists the assets and debts each future spouse holds. It specifies the management of all items if the marriage dissolves.
Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenups. They are growing in popularity, especially among second marriages and long-term unions. In each case, couples create an agreement after getting married. A postnup can override an existing pre- or postnup.
Prenup vs. postnup
Not everyone needs a prenup. Young couples with no previous unions typically don’t need one unless one of the spouses has a trust or expects a significant inheritance. Postnups usually come into play when a married couple decides they need an agreement.
The spouses may even decide to wait until after the wedding instead of engaging in an overwrought and often awkward negotiation. There are cases where couples will agree years into the marriage that a postnup is necessary. For example, a postnup may be the result of infidelity, where a spouse wants financial protection and assurance for assets if it happens again.
The prenup is the more straightforward procedure, being executed before a couple combines their assets. The postnup is a good idea for individuals entering another marriage or that have large estates or sizable assets.
These marital agreements can include provisions for child support only if children are already born. But the court has the power to override any support agreement.
While the postnup and prenup serve similar purposes, the postnup has the potential to be more complex. It’s also more realistic than a prenup as it can take into account current assets built into the marriage.