It’s not uncommon for New Jersey couples to sign a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, before tying the knot. This agreement defines ownership of assets and what will be divided should the couple divorce.
No one signs a prenup thinking about their divorce. But if you and your soon-to-be spouse are signing a prenup (or have already), it’s important to make sure that it’s valid – regardless of whether or not you intend to use it.
Prenups need to be written
It’s one thing to have conversations with your spouse about what would happen if you two were to divorce. But those conversations don’t amount to much in an actual divorce proceeding unless the details are in writing.
Additional procedures need to be followed for a written prenup to be considered valid. Most states require prenuptial agreements must be signed well in advance of the wedding day, with plenty of time to consider what you’re signing.
Coercion or other manipulation
The prenuptial agreement needs to be signed by both parties, with the understanding that they both know what they agree to. If one person claims to not have read the agreement in full because of manipulation from their spouse, that would render the prenup invalid.
Likewise, putting false information in the prenup or not disclosing important information can also render it invalid. And it goes without saying that the spouse shouldn’t be coerced or threatened into signing the prenup.
Of course, even after all is said and done, there’s a chance that a prenup leaves the other person in such a bad place financially that it would be unconscionable for the court to uphold it. Even if you feel like you signed your prenup in good faith with a good understanding, there may still be a chance to get it overturned.