Contesting a Marital Agreement
Like any other form of contract, marital agreements must adhere to a certain set of standards to be considered legally enforceable in New Jersey. In particular, marital agreements require specific actions to be taken by both parties before and during the drafting process. It is important to understand that only certain terms can be written into marital agreements, when participants may contest agreements, and the differences between contesting and modifying existing marital agreements.
The marital agreement contestation attorneys of Jacobs Berger have extensive experience helping our clients draft, enforce, modify, and contest marital agreements in Morris County towns including Madison, Randolph, Morristown, Denville, Dover, Rockaway, East Hanover, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our firm sees every case we take as an opportunity to help secure a solid foundation for the future of our clients and their families. We take pride in offering dynamic and multidimensional legal solutions to best serve our clients’ individual needs.
Call our office today to discuss your existing marital agreement and the potential to have it contested or modified in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment with one of our qualified and experienced attorneys.
Marital Agreement Lawyers Identify Un-Enforceable Terms of Marital Agreements
Before getting into the specifics of how to contest marital agreements, our Madison marital agreement lawyers will first review your existing agreement to see if any terms are unenforceable by nature. There are two primary reasons why the terms of a marital agreement may be considered unenforceable:
Terms including predetermination of child support or child custody – within marital agreements such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, terms may not include future considerations for child support or child custody. This is due to the New Jersey courts reserving the rights to rule on such matters based on the best interests of the children, not based on the wishes of the parents. Certain types of marital agreements between unmarried parents may address these topics, but must stick to present-day arrangements.
Terms which are considered “unconscionable” – most agreements can be thrown out if the conditions are inherently unfair, grossly imbalanced, or otherwise unlawfully one-sided. Such terms are considered unconscionable.
Grounds for Contesting Marital Agreements
Agreements which are considered “marital” and may fall under this category include prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, palimony agreements, and reconciliation agreements. Our Randolph marital agreement attorneys may be able to contest your marital agreement if any of the following is true:
- Both parties were not given ample opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel before signing the agreement
- One or both parties did not meet with independent counsel and did not expressly waive the right to do so
- Assets, earnings, owned properties, debts, or other financial considerations were intentionally or unintentionally withheld at the time the marital agreement was signed
- One or both parties signed the agreement involuntarily
- One or both parties lacked the mental fitness to sign the agreement with full understanding of the terms therein
- Terms are unenforceable as per the previous section
The contesting party is responsible for proving that one or more of these situations is true in order to have your agreement dismissed or altered.
What is the Difference Between Contesting and Modifying a Marital Agreement in NJ?
When it comes to New Jersey marital agreements, there are two primary methods by which participants can alter their existing agreements: contestation or modification. While these two may sound very similar, they are in fact quite different.
Contesting a martial agreement entails challenging the legality and/or validity of the agreement in the first place. As discussed above, contestation generally involves proving unlawful terms of an agreement or unlawful circumstances leading to the signing of an agreement.
Modifying a marital agreement is a process by which legally valid agreements may be altered due to a change in circumstance to one or both parties. This can include major illnesses, major financial changes, and much more.
Contact our Marital Agreement Attorneys Today to discuss Contesting or Validating Your Marital Agreement
At Jacobs Berger, our marital agreement contestation attorneys understand that some of our clients find themselves locked up in unfair or unlawful marital agreements and are searching for a way out. We take pride in successfully contesting marital agreements for clients in local Morris County communities and across all of Northern New Jersey. Our attorneys strive to mitigate the emotional and financial stressors of the legal process and take pride in tailoring our services to best fit the individual needs of each client. Our firm is built on the idea that the attorney-client relationship should come above all else.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the drafting, enforcement, modification, or contestation of a marital agreement, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 710-4366 today for a confidential and comprehensive case assessment.