Many people approach prenuptial agreements as a bad omen, as though drafting the prenup indicates that the marriage is expected to fail. While it is true that half of U.S. marriages end with a divorce, many couples did not have a prenup or postnuptial agreement, resulting in long, embroiled divorce battles and bitter fights about property division. While a prenuptial agreement for LGBTQIA+ couples cannot solve all issues before they arise, a prenup is especially beneficial for same-sex couples in a domestic partnership who share property.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement for Same-Sex Couples
A prenuptial agreement can state terms for all shared or sole property acquired prior to legal marriage. This includes retirement accounts, 401K, pensions, investments, equities, real estate, personal property, gifts, jewelry, and other items. Because same-sex couples have often lived together, purchased property jointly, and built a life together before legally jumping the broom, sorting out what is and is not the marital property is increasingly convoluted if the same-sex couple seeks a divorce. Deciding how marital property would be divided, shared, or sold for split profits before tension and acrimony set in is one way to give the couple peace of mind while also taking stock of what they have amassed. Drafting a well-written prenuptial agreement can also help the couple decide if they would need spousal support should they file for divorce. The only issues that cannot be settled in advance concern child support and child custody.
Enforcing the Agreement in New Jersey
New Jersey and other states recognize prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements as enforceable, so long as both parties entered into the agreement willingly. A postnuptial agreement is drafted with similar terms, only executed after the marriage has taken place. If the couple does consider divorce, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a crucial document to be entered into evidence. If all issues of marital property were previously decided upon in the agreement, it can make the actual divorce process more efficient. And, even if a same-sex couple is married in one state, moves to another state and then gets divorced in the new state, the agreement still remains in effect.
Contact New Jersey LGBTQIA+ Attorneys at Eveland & Foster, LLC
Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is applicable in almost all avenues of life, and this includes marriage and domestic partnerships. It is especially true if a couple is in a committed, monogamous relationship and has amassed a great deal of furnishings, digital assets, furniture, or property. Deciding what is on or off the table before walking down the aisle can eliminate hassle or heartache down the line. It also protects both parties in the event the relationship goes sour. If you have questions about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and how it could benefit you, contact the family law attorneys at Eveland & Foster today to schedule a consultation
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