What Exactly Does a Prenup Do?
A prenup is a legal contract that has instructions protecting your financial assets or debts in case of divorce. For example, divorce courts could give major assets like your house to your spouse instead of you. But a prenup could secure your rights to your house by outlining that your house is separate, not-to-be-divided property from your partner’s.
What Goes in a Prenup?
A prenup can protect your rightful assets from being unfairly divided by a divorce court. These assets can include:
- Personal valuable property (like cars, jewelry, furniture, art, etc.)
- Cash and bank accounts
- Education funds
- Marital vs. separate/exempt property (like the house, other real estate properties, etc.)
- Establishments of any wills or trusts
- Investments and retirement funds
Do I Need a Prenup in NJ?
New Jersey doesn’t require partners to get a prenup before marriage. And because of a few misconceptions about prenups, some partners choose not to enter a prenup.
One common misconception is that getting a prenup means you don’t trust your partner or are already anticipating divorce. But this isn’t true, and more people are recognizing this as of late. People are increasingly choosing prenups as a part of the overall marriage process rather than a part of divorce.
Another misconception is that prenups are only for wealthy people. While some people might enter prenups because they’re beneficiaries of trusts or have significantly more assets than their partner, not all prenups are created for these purposes.
Why Should I Get a Prenup?
As we previously emphasized, getting a prenup doesn’t always point to a partner’s abundance of wealth or a lack in emotional trust. Consider a prenup if one partner:
- Was previously married
- Has children from a previous relationship
- Is a business owner
- Is marrying someone with significant debt
- Wants to clarify separate/exempt vs. marital property (like the house)
Ultimately, it is up to you and your partner to get a prenup or not. Not all relationships will call for one, but many do. The role of a family law attorney in this case is to help you figure out what is best for your situation.
While the legal strings tied to marriage may seem complicated, please know that you are not alone. If you are researching family law matters in NJ, you can schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney at 973-922-1035 from Maria A. Giammona Law. We have been providing caring and compassionate representation for family law matters in Totowa, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park and throughout Passaic County for over 20 years. We’ll look at every aspect of your situation and help you determine the best strategy for your family.