Marital agreements, whether signed before or after the marriage takes place, can provide many benefits for the couples during the marriage and in case of a divorce. However, not every couple might need or be ready to sign a marital agreement. To decide if you should sign a marital agreement in New Jersey, there are certain things to consider.
The benefits of marital agreements
While the conversation that leads to a marital agreement might be a hard one for some couples, agreeing to enter into a prenup or postnup can be beneficial in the short and long-run. Some of the benefits marital agreements provide include:
- Establishing each spouse’s separate property and the marital property
- Addressing the conditions in each person’s estate plan to protect beneficiaries such as children from a previous marriage
- Allocating debts, such as loans and credit card bills in case of divorce
- Determining methods of conflict resolution over financial matters
- Saving time and money in the divorce process
Considerations when signing a marital agreement
If you and your spouse have decided to enter into a marital agreement, you should first become familiar with the state laws and the requirements for the agreement to be considered valid and enforceable in the future. State laws vary, but generally, courts expect marital agreements to be fair to both parties, to be entered into freely and to include all the relevant information. While not all couples might need the agreement, those spouses who are entering marriage with valuable property, such as businesses and real estate, who earn a significant amount of money or have significant savings, will benefit from establishing clear definitions of separate and marital property and how assets will be handled if the marriage is dissolved.
While marital agreements are often seen as not romantic, they can help couples avoid conflicts over finances. This is important as conflict over finances between spouses is one of the major factors leading to divorce.