Marital Agreements Attorney in Union County, NJ
Read on to learn more about some of the different forms of marital agreements and how they are carried out.
While marriage is most often the coming together of two people who are in love and committed to traversing the ups and downs of life together, marriage is also a legally binding contract a couple enters into. Once married, a couple shares financial responsibility in addition to a myriad of assets and other responsibilities such as, perhaps, raising and supporting children. In order to navigate the on-the-ground realities of the legal union of marriage, many couples decide to enter into a marital agreement. A marital agreement can be integral to the smooth functioning of a relationship. Because it creates a linear outline of each partner’s needs, expectations, and understanding of the material framework of the matrimony, a marital agreement can make communication much clearer and the couple’s vision of their orientation much easier to share. There are multiple types of marital agreements.
Prenuptial agreements are both the most well-known and the most common forms of marital agreements. A prenuptial agreement creates a structure for the legal underpinnings of the marriage and is signed before the couple says “I do.” It addresses the aspects of the marriage that are much like a business partnership. These asset- and finance-based elements are outlined so that the financial individuality of each partner is clearly established and protected in the case of separation by purview of the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part. A prenuptial agreement, or ‘prenup,’ as it is often called, also outlines the way in which a separation would be handled, including how the marital assets such as savings and estates would be divided and how alimony considerations would be approached. It is imperative to have the support of a family law attorney when drawing up and executing a prenuptial agreement, because based on the solidity of a prenuptial agreement, a New Jersey Superior Court judge will utilize the prenup as the default for divorce, not standing divorce law.
Postnuptial (mid-marriage) Agreements
A postnuptial, or mid-marriage, agreement is one that is drawn up during the course of the marriage to clarify the financial and legal rights of each party in the couple. It can either be a revision of the prenuptial agreement or be a new document altogether. A postnuptial agreement may be entered into court records when the marriage arrangement has changed, so that there is clarity about each partner’s rights to assets and finances in the case of divorce; for example, the case of one partner leaving the job force to raise children could instigate the need for a postnup, as they would want insurance that they would maintain a fair share of assets in the divorce regardless of how much they are financially contributing to the marriage.
Married couples aren’t the only ones who can enter into an agreement to protect assets in the case of separation. Cohabitation agreements outline the current nature of the relationship and its shared assets and provide an outline of how assets would be split in the case of separation. Because there are no strict legal protections for partners within unmarried couples, cohabitation agreements may be even more important for unmarried couples than they are for married couples. Cohabitation agreements may organize how property, joint savings, joint investments, and other assets are distributed in the case of divorce; they lay out the terms of financial support for a non-breadwinning partner in the case of separation – an unofficial form of alimony; and they may determine how child support and custody would be handled in the case that the couple has children and separates.
Any marriage agreement, be it a prenuptial, postnuptial, cohabitation, or reconciliation agreement, must be developed in the presence of legal representation for both parties. Each party signs a document affirming that they were legally represented and not coerced by the other party in any way. While a person may waive the right to legal representation, it is not represented, as the agreements laid forth in such a document are legally binding and may play a key role in one’s financial future for many years following a divorce.
Contact a Union County Marital Agreement Attorney Today
At Edward Cooper Law Firm, our team of experienced divorce attorneys support our clients in Summit, Scotch Plains, Linden, Elizabeth, and the greater Union County area in ensuring that their marital rights are met and their assets protected before, during, and after marriage.