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How to Nullify a New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement

You may have entered into a New Jersey prenuptial agreement prior to getting married. You may have reached a juncture at which you are dissatisfied with the prenup. You may be at a juncture at which you desire to have the prenuptial agreement set aside. With that in mind, you may want to have the instrument nullified so that it no longer is in force and effect. In fact, there are some tactics that can be employed in some instances to nullify a New Jersey prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial Agreement is Deceptive

A ground upon which a New Jersey prenup can be nullified or set aside is if a demonstration can be made that there was an act of deception. Examples of deceptive practices designed to entice a person into signing a prenuptial agreement include:

  • The failure to appropriately disclose the nature and extent of assets in advance of the signing of a prenuptial agreement.
  • The failure to properly disclose the nature and extent of assets prior to the signing of a prenup.

A person might argue that if one spouse misstates the law regarding a prenuptial agreement, that is also a deceptive practice. The reality is that both people contemplating marriage who are working towards heading into a prenuptial agreement have a duty to understand the applicable law. What this really means is that both parties considering signing a prenup are to be given the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel. If one party or another fails to consult with legal counsel and ends up with a misperception about applicable law, that very well may not prove suitable grounds upon which to base a contention that a particular prenuptial agreement should be set aside or nullified.

New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement Not Properly Signed

New Jersey law does not impose any onerous requirements on how a prenup is to be signed. For example, witnesses are not required when a prenuptial agreement is signed in the Garden State. The verification or authentication of signatures by a notary public likewise is not required in order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered legally binding or valid in New Jersey.

Therefore, while it is conceivable that a prenup might be set aside because of a signature issue, the parameters within which this might occur are narrow. A signature issue alone is not likely to be the only grounds upon which nullification of a prenup is sought.

In most instances, contention that a prenup is not properly signed in New Jersey accompanies another contention regarding the validity of the instrument. For example, a challenge might be made that the signature was not proper on the prenup itself because one spouse was forced to sign the document under threat, duress, or deception.

Prenuptial Agreement Signed Under Duress

Finally, one of the most frequent reasons used to seek the nullification of a prenuptial agreement is a determination that the instrument was signed under duress. In other words, the prenup was not entered into legally in the first instance because one of the parties to the agreement was forced in some manner into signing it in the first instance.

Duress is defined fairly broadly when it comes to the prospect of signing a prenup or when an effort is being made to set aside or void an existing agreement of this nature. Examples of duress can include but most definitely are not limited to:

  • Emotional threats designed to coerce a person to sign a prenup
  • Threats of physical violence used as a means to coerce the signing of a prenup
  • Withholding affection as a means of placing a prospective party to a prenup under stress and duress

What Happens if Other Spouse Challenges Nullifying Prenuptial Agreement?

Your Legal Rights and Your New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement

If you have found yourself with issues surrounding a prenuptial agreement, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen is here for you. We can schedule a free initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce attorney at our firm at your convenience by calling (201) 845-7400.

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