Premarital agreements are relatively common in New Jersey. In general, people want to protect their assets in case of divorce and a premarital agreement can help. It is important to note, however, that there are certain requirements that must be met for it to be valid.
While it can be hard to invalidate a premarital agreement, there are conditions in which it may happen. To be enforceable, all assets must be disclosed. Failing to do so could lead to allegations of fraud. If proven, this could nullify the agreement. Coercion is a common reason for a premarital agreement to be deemed unenforceable. For example, people who did not have the capacity to understand what they were signing might have been coerced.
Clerical errors could happen and result in the agreement being declared invalid. This can occur even if all the other aspects of it are done correctly and within the law. People who sign a premarital agreement should have legal representation of their own. Often, people who want the premarital agreement will simply present the document to the other party expecting them to sign it. It is crucial to have an independent advocate’s assessment.
Finally, the premarital agreement could be considered too unreasonable to be valid. If the person who presented it has terms stating that no child support will be paid in the event of divorce, it could be invalidated. Or there could be stipulations that are impossible to meet. An enforceable premarital agreement must be in writing, voluntary, have complete disclosure, be fair, and agreed to by both sides. When crafting premarital agreements, it is important to avoid these mistakes. To create a valid agreement, it is wise to discuss it with a legal professional experienced with the requirements to ensure they are met.