Most New Jersey residents have probably heard of prenuptial agreements. These are legal documents drafted and signed before marriage to determine how specific issues in the marriage are handled. Fewer people have heard about post-nuptial or mid-marriage agreements, yet they can be just as valuable in a marriage and in a divorce as the pre-nup.
For those who have not heard of post-nuptial agreements, they are similar to pre-nups but are created after the couple is married. Before you get too excited, there is a downside to a post-nuptial agreement should divorce occur. This downside is that sometimes post-nups are overturned if the couple divorces. However, with the proper care and attention, it is possible to draft a fair, balanced post-nup that meets the needs of both parties.
Successful post-nuptial agreements typically contain four prerequisite procedures:
- Full financial disclosure must be provided by both spouses
- Both spouses should have independent legal counsel
- The agreement was reached without duress or coercion
- The agreement is equitable and fair to both parties
Regarding fair and equitable, both spouses should keep in mind that this phrase will come into play if the agreement is ever enforced. This simply means that while it was fair and equitable when created, it must still be fair and equitable when enforced regardless of how much time has passed.
Post-nuptial agreements are not for everyone and are certainly not foolproof in the event of a divorce. For many, the value of a post-nup comes during a marriage rather than after the relationship has ended. Before making a decision, we recommend you and your spouse discuss the possibility of a post-nuptial agreement in-depth. The legal team at MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family LawTM of New Jersey by Schultz & Associates, LLC can provide additional guidance.