Prenups can take the sting out of division of assets in divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

There is an expression that says criminal court brings out the best in bad people, and divorce court brings out the worst in good people. Divorces are typically challenging and traumatizing, but prenups can ease the process. Although many people in New Jersey might believe that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous, these marital contracts can simplify the division of assets in the divorces of the rest of the community. While prenups require full disclosure of debts and assets, they can also address additional matters.

The issues that a well-drafted marital contract can tackle include guidelines for the division of assets accumulated during the marriage, how the couple would deal with debts, spousal support and any other matters unique to the couple. Disputes over finances cause many problems in marriages, and disclosure of assets and liabilities of each spouse is required in a divorce. However, dealing with it at the start of the marriage, with annual updates, might actually support a stronger bond for the couple.

Discussing these issues at the time when couples are focused on building a future together makes more sense than leaving it for the time when communication has broken down, and emotions are running high. Furthermore, while spouses look out for each other at the beginning of a marriage, each spouse typically focuses on his or own post-divorce welfare if the marriage is about to end. A prenup can avoid contention and disputes at such a time.

Using legal counsel to draft a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey makes sense. The knowledge that the division of assets is taken care of should a divorce result could provide both spouses with peace of mind. They can then focus on their marriage and building a future together, knowing that the interests of both will be protected in the event of a divorce.

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