Prenuptial, Midmarriage And Divorce Settlement Agreements
Some people say prenuptial agreements are contrary to the basis of marriage. But the reality is that many marriages do end, despite heartfelt promises and professions of love at the beginning. If it comes to that, a marital agreement can limit the cost and animosity of divorce.
The Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh, L.L.C., can draft, negotiate or review your premarital agreement or postmarital agreement. We have also litigated such contracts when they turned out to be inherently fraudulent or unfair.
The key word is ‘agreement.’
To discuss a marital agreement and whether it makes sense for you, contact our Somerset office for an appointment.
Premarital And Postmarital Agreements
A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup or premarital agreement, can serve several purposes. It protects your separate property if you brought assets to the marriage that should revert to you. It provides for an efficient and orderly distribution of your marital assets — property, accounts, debts. It bypasses the cost and vitriol and gamesmanship of a contested divorce.
Any couple can have a prenuptial agreement. They are most common when one party enters marriage with substantial income or assets. They are also common in second marriages, to preserve inheritance rights of children from the prior marriage.
A midmarriage agreement, or postmarital agreement, can serve the same purposes for couples who are already married. For example, it may stipulate that certain assets — such as a large inheritance received while married or a business built partially with marital funds — belong to one spouse in the event of divorce. A midmarriage agreement can also enable a marriage to go forward when estranged or separated spouses reconcile. Putting the property rights into writing minimizes the uncertainty and distrust.
New Jersey courts will not recognize marital agreements that are patently unfair and leave one spouse “high and dry” with no assets or means of support. The court can nullify an agreement built on fraud or misrepresentation such as undisclosed assets. And it will not uphold a prenup or midmarriage agreement signed under duress or coercion deemed unconscionable (which means shocking to enforce). Rajeh Saadeh can make sure that your contract meets all the statutory criteria and passes the “smell test.”
Attorney Rajeh A. Saadeh can also serve as your lawyer for an out-of-court divorce settlement agreement. Whether you have few assets or a more complex estate, litigation can be long, costly and nasty. If you are able to come to terms without going to court, we can draft the legalese and submit it to the court for approval, enabling you to go your separate ways sooner and with less stress and expense.
Marital agreements and settlement agreements cannot stipulate the terms of child custody or the amount of child support (unless a court approves it). But property, alimony and other terms of divorce are fair game.
For an in-depth discussion, call The Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh, L.L.C., for an appointment at 908-396-8330, or contact us online. Based in Somerville, New Jersey, we practice in Middlesex County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Morris County, Union County and Mercer County.