Post-Nuptial Agreements Protect Financial Interests In Divorce
- June 23, 2014
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With divorces in New Jersey on the rise, people should educate themselves on the ways in which they can protect their past, present, and future assets and financial interests and the execution of a postnuptial agreement may help to protect these interests in the event that a married couple should choose to divorce. Postnuptial agreements function very much like prenuptial agreements except for the fact that these agreements are executed during the pendency of the marriage as opposed to before the marriage has taken place. Postnuptial agreements are generally utilized in situations where the married parities did not draft a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage and although the couple may intend to stay married, they want to be protected if their relationship were to dissolve at some point. Parties typically find it much easier to establish resolutions to marital issues before the dissolution of the relationship and therefore postnuptial agreements can offer both protection but also peace of mind for married couples who want to try to avoid protracted and expensive legal battles if they choose to divorce. Couples find that postnuptial agreements apply to many marital situations. For instance, drafting such an agreement may function to modify an existing prenuptial agreements in the event of changed martial circumstances. Also, if the parties discover, only after being married, that they have very different perspectives on financial management a postnuptial agreement anticipate the division of assets or establish a procedure for doing so in the event of a divorce. The case of Pacelli v. Pacelli, 319 N.J. Super. 185 (App. Div. 1999) established the standards for postnuptial agreements. According to the Pacelli decision, court will exercise a very high level of scrutiny when determining the enforceability of a postnuptial agreement to make sure that neither party was coerced into entering the agreement by the other party. This means, that it is very important that those considering entering into a postnuptial agreement should seriously think about consulting with an experienced attorney before doing so. A postnuptial agreement will be enforceable if both parties offer their full financial disclosure during the process, both are represented by separate attorneys, there is no evidence of duress of coercion, and that the terms of the agreement are fair and equitable (both when the agreement was executed and when it is being performed). If you are interested in learning more about postnuptial agreements or if you are prepared to draft and execute such an agreement it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before moving forward. For more information about postnuptial agreements, divorce, prenuptial agreements, equitable distribution or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.