What You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements

If you are engaged to be married, already married, or in a long-term relationship and living with your significant other and wish to take the practical measure of drafting and negotiating an agreement to protect your assets and rights, you’ve come to the right place. Please continue reading and speak with our Bergen County family law attorneys to learn more about prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements, how we can help you draft one, and how doing so may benefit you and your significant other greatly in the long run. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements

What is the purpose of drafting a prenuptial agreement?

There are various reasons that couples will consider drafting prenuptial agreements, however, the primary purpose of these documents is to protect certain hard-earned assets, should the couple ever decide to get divorced in the future. Some of the assets that you may include in your prenuptial agreement include retirement savings, inheritances, property distribution terms, alimony, and stock options, among other things.

How can I be sure that my prenuptial agreement is valid and legally enforceable?

As with any legal document, it must be considered valid and legally enforceable for it to have any legal standing. There are five primary qualifications for a valid prenuptial agreement in the state of New Jersey, and they are as follows:

  • Prenuptial agreements must be in writing.
  • Prenuptial agreements must include full disclosure of both spouse’s assets.
  • Prenuptial agreements must be drafted and executed before marriage.
  • The terms of a prenuptial agreement must be fair and just to both parties.
  • There must be no evidence of coercion, manipulation, or deceit into signing the document, and both spouses must have had ample time to consider the implications of signing such an agreement.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

If you are already married, you may not draft a prenuptial agreement, though you may draft a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. These documents function the same as prenuptial agreements, though they are exclusively drafted after marriage.

What if I am living with my significant other but we are not married and/or have no plans to get married?

Couples who live together and/or are involved in a long-term unmarried relationship can sign what is called a “cohabitation agreement” to put in place legal protections that married couples are afforded such as the right to make medical decisions and inheritance rights. Moreover, not all relationships stand the test of time. Without an agreement, you may face a lengthy and costly battle to divide what you have acquired together. As such, hiring an attorney to draft a cohabitation agreement may be in your best interests depending upon your circumstances.

While it is not necessary for an attorney to assist you in drafting prenuptial, postnuptial or cohabitation agreements, it is best to hire an attorney as your attorney can work to ensure that your agreement reflects you and your future spouse’s best interests and will be enforceable in the eyes of the law. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

We understand how confusing certain legal issues can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing individuals with the compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you. For experienced legal counsel regarding family law, litigation, business law, real estate, and criminal law, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.