New Jersey Prenup Info & Divorce Statutes 

You’ve dined at an impressive number of diners, you’ve gone seaside and visited the boardwalk so many times you could walk it backwards and blindfolded, and your GTL game is always on point. Now that you two are about to tie the knot in the most densely populated state in the country, here is what you’ll need to know and include in your prenuptial agreement (so it can effectively hold up in court).

Prenuptial Agreements in New Jersey

A prenuptial agreement (otherwise referred to as a “prenup”) is a documented contract between two parties entering a marriage that decides the fate and responsibilities of property acquired before and during the marriage (and what will happen to them in the event of divorce or separation). Without a prenuptial agreement drafted between both parties prior to marriage, in the event of separation or divorce, a couple will be subject to New Jersey’s state prenuptial agreement that generalizes and decides the fate of each couple.
Z

What to include in a valid New Jersey Prenup 

For a Jersey prenup (also referred to as “premarital or pre-civil union agreement”) to be considered valid and enforceable in the eyes of the law, it must be drafted under specific laws and regulations that include:

  • A written contract
  • Lawful terms
  • Signatures from both parties (ideally on every page)
  • Signed voluntarily (without being under duress, intimidation, deceit, etc.)
  • Notarized
  • Financial disclosure
Q

What to exclude from your New Jersey prenup 

Your prenup could be a risk if you include any of the following provisions:

  • Child custody or child support
  • Incentive to commit illegal acts
  • Incentive for divorce
  • Unfair, unjust, or deceptive terms

Avoiding these subjects means avoiding unnecessary ambiguity that could be interpreted from your marriage or prenuptial agreement altogether, and efficiently streamline your divorce process.

A New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement can include the following (including, but not limited to!):

  • Separate Property: Specifying what property should be considered separate property;
  • Marital Property: Specifying what property should be considered marital property;
  • How marital property will be distributed at divorce or death
  • The modification or elimination of New Jersey spousal support;
  • The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement;
  • Any other provisions, such as personal obligations, as long as those provisions do not violate public policy.

>> For more fine print, review the New Jersey state prenuptial agreement statute

Statutes & terms to understand for a valid New Jersey Prenup

*Before we go into terminology, we highly suggest reviewing our “Prenup Encyclopedia” that breaks down legal terminology and phrases that will make drafting your prenup much easier. 👇

Divorce Statute

Official term used to refer to “divorce from bond of matrimony”.

A legal breakup of a marriage in New Jersey is called a “divorce from bond of matrimony.” Legally speaking, couples can break up their marriage as a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. 

>>For the entire fine print, review New Jersey Divorce Law

New Jersey Divorce Grounds

New Jersey recognizes both “fault” and “no fault” grounds for divorce.

>>For the entire fine print, review New Jersey Divorce Law

Marital Property

Property “acquired during the marriage”

In New Jersey, marital property includes all property, both real and personal, acquired by either spouse during the marriage. 

New Jersey operates under an equitable distribution theory. This means that property is not automatically split down the middle. Rather, the courts employ an equitable distribution analysis and use the following factors to help determine an asset split: 

  • Length of the marriage;
  • Age and physical health of each spouse
  • Emotional health of each spouse;
  • Income of each spouse;
  • Debts and liabilities of the parties;
  • The spouse’s standard of living; 
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse;
  • Each spouse’s financial and non-financial contribution to the marital property;
  • Earning capacity of each party;
  • Whether or not there was a prenuptial agreement; and

Any other factors the court deems relevant.

>>For the entire fine print, review New Jersey Divorce Law

Nonmarital Property

AKA “separate property”

New Jersey operates like many other equitable distribution states, where a list of factors (see above) allow a court to determine what property is considered marital, and what property is considered separate, depending on a variety of factors. If you want to ensure that your separate property remains separate, a prenuptial agreement is the best way to do so. 

Alimony Statute

Spousal Support Upon Divorce

New Jersey courts consider a variety of factors detailed in the New Jersey alimony statute (NJSA 34 N.J.S.2A:34-23). The listed factors are:

  1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
  2. The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
  4. The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
  5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
  6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
  7. The parental responsibilities for the children;
  8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
  9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
  10. The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
  11. The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
  12. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment; and
  13. The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any; and
  14. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

If you would like to decide whether or not alimony should be of issue in any divorce, a prenuptial agreement can allow you to decide!

>>For the entire fine print, review New Jersey alimony laws

Ready to start your New Jersey Prenup?

Just sign-up, sign-in, and print.
No commitment necessary.
(Not speaking about your marriage – commitment is absolutely necessary there).
👇

Sorry!

Sign Up portal is down for maintenance until May 1st 2021

We are busy adding new clauses to our platform but please leave your name, email and wedding date and we will reach out as soon as we are up and running.

We will also offer $200 off!