You’re ready to give it another go. Even though your first or second marriage didn’t work out, you’re pretty sure you’ve finally found the right one. The idea of having a divorce lawyer all ready to go? Sounds terribly unromantic and foreboding, right? Let’s just say it’s more about being smart.
All things considered, you might have learned from your past experiences. Even “marriages made in heaven” can go bad. You may have heard that first marriages have only a 50% chance of survival. However, some say the statistics get even worse for subsequent marital unions. More than one source, says that “67% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.”
Does this mean you need to prepare for the inevitable? While we’re all for planning, we’d like to see you in the lesser percentile of the odds. Meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt to know you’ve put some protective measures in place should it come down to dividing your assets.
For a long time, Nick swore off the idea of getting married again. It took him years to even think of leaving his first wife, Loretta. Although Nick admits that he had a couple of affairs outside the marriage, he can easily justify his actions. Loretta rejected all his attempts at intimacy, and he certainly didn’t get married to become celibate.
Nick and Loretta’s divorce was a real dragged out battle. It seemed that Loretta wanted more than her fair share of Nick’s business earnings. Although Nick understood she was entitled to a portion of the assets, what she wanted didn’t seem all that equitable. The divorce trial was more than a week. Not surprisingly, neither Nick or Loretta was happy with the judge’s decision.
After ten years of renewed bachelorhood, Nick met Samantha. Nick’s intuition tells him that this time around things will be better. Yet, a friend insisted that he consult with a family law attorney. The lawyer convinced Nick that he and Samantha should execute a prenuptial agreement.
At first, Nick was hesitant to approach Samantha – afraid that the woman of his dreams would abandon him if he asked her to sign something in advance of their marriage. However, Samantha handled it well. She was in love and not worried that their upcoming wedding vows would ever end in a divorce decree. The prenuptial agreement was essentially irrelevant to her. Nonetheless, she retained her own family law attorney to ensure her interests were protected.
Does this story sound familiar? In some ways, a marriage is a business partnership. It’s common sense to make sure both parties have a basic understanding of how things could be divided in case of a marital dissolution. A prenuptial agreement is the perfect tool.
Getting Remarried and Need a Prenup?
Even those marrying for the first time may think about entering into prenups. However, in the case of remarriage, you might think of it as “once burned, twice shy.” A well-thought-out prenuptial agreement can help discourage your fear of walking down the aisle again.
First, a premarital agreement will identify what is separate and marital property. If you own your house outright, you may want to ensure that it is listed as property you owned before the marriage. Likewise, maybe your grandmother gave you an expensive ring and you want to make sure it doesn’t later become a marital asset.
Meanwhile, these are just some basic considerations in drafting a prenuptial agreement. NJSA 37:2-34 provides further detail concerning the contents of these types of documents. Notably, NJSA 37:2-35 states that a premarital agreement may not adversely affect the right of a child to support.