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Can the court invalidate your New Jersey premarital agreement?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Divorce

A premarital agreement, more commonly called a prenup, feels like a bad omen where engaged couples discuss divorce right before the wedding. But such stigma seems defeated as more eventual couples enter this contract establishing fair and transparent terms about their assets and liabilities. As it gains popularity, it also becomes common for the court to invalidate a premarital agreement under certain circumstances.

Grounds for invalidation

A New Jersey premarital agreement can only be enforceable if entered validly. If not, there are certain factors that can render it void.

  • Improper execution: if not put into writing, one party did not sign or it took place without an appropriate witness
  • Coercion: if one party signed under duress – any form of physical, mental, emotional and financial pressure; proof of threat is necessary
  • Deception: if one party hides assets or conceals their actual value; full disclosure is a must
  • Insufficient time: if the agreement occurs too close to the wedding date and lacks leeway to review its provisions
  • Unreasonable terms: if the agreement proves one-sided causing unfair treatment to a party, like financial hardships or dictating sexual and other private behaviors

There is also a line drawn in terms of child support and custody. A premarital agreement cannot dictate terms for both conditions because the court will ultimately uphold what is in the child’s best interests.

Safety net

While getting married is a romantic endeavor, it is also a legal matter. Securing a validly executed premarital agreement while you are in love saves you from financial and legal troubles when contemplating a divorce.