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Are all executed New Jersey prenuptial agreements enforceable?

No, they’re not.

That is the short and definitive answer to today’s above-posed blog headline query. Courts will duly enforce all the material provisions in many prenuptial agreements, but not routinely endorse every such contract.

As one in-depth overview of prenups notes, there are lots of instances where a court will stop in its judicial tracks while perusing a marital agreement and begin subjecting it to truly exacting scrutiny.

We underscore that close analysis on our website at the Somerville Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh. We note therein that, “New Jersey courts will not recognize marital agreements that are patently unfair.” Nor will they sign off on a contract that leaves one spouse “high and dry,” lacking any adequate means of support in the event of divorce.

The bottom line concerning a New Jersey prenuptial agreement it that it must be tailored and drafted sufficiently carefully to pass legal muster in the state. That means complying with formalities. It means addressing and meeting all statutory requirements. And as we stress on our website, it means passing the judicial “smell test.”

Many things can unfavorably color a court’s perception of a given prenup. Following are some reasons why a judge might rule a prenuptial contract unenforceable:

  • Evidence of pressure or coercion
  • Inadequate time to reasonably consider the details
  • Illegal intent (e.g., provision to alter child support or commit a crime)
  • Failure in the mechanics (not signed, improperly witnessed and so forth)
  • Based on false information that one party relies upon
  • Unfair to the point of being unconscionable

If you truly desire a prenuptial agreement, take the steps necessary to ensure its due execution and ultimate enforcement. A proven family law attorney can help ensure that outcome.