A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract between a prospective husband and wife which is statutorily sanctioned in New Jersey. The issues generally dealt with in Pre-Nuptial Agreements are:
- The rights and obligations of each of the parties with respect to any property owned by either party prior to or during the marriage;
- The right to buy, sell, transfer, exchange, mortgage, or otherwise effect the ownership interest in property during the marriage with respect to property owned by the parties either prior to or during the marriage;
- The disposition of property owned by a party either prior to the marriage or during the marriage upon separation, divorce or death;
- Spousal support in the event of separation or divorce; and
- The rights and obligations of each of the parties upon the death of the other party; and/or e) any other matter upon which the parties wish to make an agreement.
In order for a Pre-Nuptial Agreement to be valid, the Agreement must be in writing signed by both parties. In addition, the agreement must be made voluntarily and full and fair disclosure of the earnings, property, and liabilities of each of the parties must be shown. Statements of assets with fair market values, debts with amounts due and tax returns should be annexed to the agreement to prove full and fair disclosure. Any appraisals of property, investment and bank account statements, mortgages, credit card statements or any other form of valuation should be shared between the parties to comply with this condition. It is of utmost importance that each party have independent legal counsel to review the terms of the Agreement and to explain each party’s legal rights and obligations with and without the Agreement.