Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy.
If you don’t already have a healthy financial relationship with your significant other, the start of the New Year is a great time to start the discussion. But the best time to talk about finances is early on in a relationship – and certainly before your wedding day.
Market Watch reports almost 80 percent of divorcing couples say financial issues played a partial or major role in their marital issues. Yet only 2 percent of couples opt for a prenuptial agreement. However, use of such agreements is on the rise, particularly among millennials. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports a 500 percent increase in the use of prenuptial agreements over the past 20 years.
While prenuptial agreements have a bad reputation as “divorce contracts,” couples would be better served by thinking of them as marriage contracts.
Prenups, Postnups, Marital Agreements in New Jersey
Financial issues and lack of communication are two of the top three reasons couples get divorced. Forging a prenuptial agreement forces healthy communication about finances at the start of a marriage, which can provide peace of mind and prevent ugly financial issues from damaging a relationship.
Still, statistics continue to show that people marrying for a second time are even less likely to use a prenuptial agreement. This is particularly concerning because older adults typically have more assets, and less time to recover from a costly divorce. Such prospective spouses are also more likely to have significant financial baggage, such as child support payments, bad debt and poor credit scores.
Forging a prenuptial agreement can put all the financial cards on the table, which is the best recipe for building a relationship on a strong foundation. In fact, a recent Forbes article credits prenuptial and postnuptial agreements with leading to stronger marriages and preventing disastrous divorces.
Hiring a prenuptial agreement attorney in Colts Neck or elsewhere in New Jersey will also cost far less than a contested divorce. Prenuptials are most common among existing couples facing issues, such as infidelity, and are a way of proving assurances and security should divorce result.
Let’s face it, we don’t even buy a car without a signed contract.
While the content of New Jersey prenuptial agreements can vary widely, they generally include provisions for spousal support and division of assets in the event of a divorce. Such agreements may also give guidance as to what happens to property, debt, future inheritances and earnings. Issues a couple cannot address at the outset of a relationship include child support and parenting responsibilities.
A prenuptial agreement is not set in stone; a couple may amend or revoke it at any time. As we wrote about recently, tax changes to alimony are coming in 2019, and may be one example of unforeseeable events that warrant revisiting a pre-existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation so you can determine what the best course of action is for your case.