5 Important Items to Include in a Premarital Agreement

premarital agreement, divorce, family law NJ

If you are preparing to walk down the aisle and say “I do” in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to have a premarital agreement created to protect yourself, your children, your future spouse, and your assets. It can be difficult to discuss such a topic with your future spouse, but it is an important one nonetheless. I have compiled a list of five important items to include in a premarital agreement so you know what to prepare for prior to meeting with a family law attorney.

Definition of Marital Property

Anyone creating a premarital agreement should start with a definition of marital property. This is one of the most important aspects of the agreement that is oftentimes overlooked. Many couples simply assume that property obtained during the marriage is marital property. In most cases, this is true, but what about separate property obtained during the marriage? This is where the definition comes into play. Discussions during the divorce process can be much less contentious if a definition is included in the agreement. It should explicitly state which items are to remain separate and which are to be marital property.

Protection from Debts

In today’s high-debt world, it’s very likely that you or your spouse will enter the marriage with some form of debt. It is quite rare for either spouse to enter into a marriage free of debt in today’s world. Even if one spouse is in debt, creditors can seek marital property. In order to avoid such a problem, write it into the agreement how debt will be handled.

Keep Family Property with Family

There are times where people entering a marriage do so as part of a family business, or with a family heirloom in their possession. If you want to protect these family items from falling into the hands of your spouse should the two of you divorce, you can protect them in a premarital agreement. A simple clause can explain that you retain all rights to the heirloom or your stake in the family business upon divorce.

Define Distribution of Property

Even though there are laws that govern how the property will be divided upon a couple’s divorce, you can bypass this by agreeing ahead of time how the distribution of property will be handled. It might seem superficial to take part in such a procedure before you even exchange your vows, but it could save both of you quite a bit of time, money, and aggravation if you were to file for divorce.

Protect Children

There’s the possibility that you could have to protect children from a previous relationship if you are getting remarried. Not everyone will have to worry about this, but many marrying people have to consider it. A premarital agreement can ensure that children from a previous relationship inherit a portion of your estate should you die. The agreement can define how a portion of your property cannot be divided in the divorce because it is to go to your children from a prior relationship.

Seeking Legal Counsel

If you are preparing to take a walk down the aisle in New Jersey, contact Patricia Davis, Esquire. Call Ms. Davis at (856) 829-9204 to schedule a consultation today. Ms. Davis services the communities in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties.