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How much does a New Jersey postnuptial agreement cost? This is a common question asked by couples who are married in New Jersey. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about postnuptial agreements and how they can protect you and your spouse during a divorce or separation.

How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost in New Jersey?

Postnuptial agreements, also called post marital agreements, are legally binding contracts that couples execute after entering a marriage. The purpose of this agreement is primarily financial planning in case the couple decides to separate or divorce. In addition, a marital agreement can also address how finances will be handled throughout the marriage and what happens if one spouse dies.

Hiring an attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement is highly recommended. An experienced family law attorney will be familiar with what terms belong in a marital agreement and what issues cannot be included. A lawyer can help ensure that your agreement is legally binding and will be held up in court.

When preparing to hire a lawyer, many couples want to know how much a postnuptial agreement will cost. While this number can vary, based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement in New Jersey is $761.81.

See Postnuptial Agreement Pricing by State

Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement in New Jersey?

Most people believe that only those who are wealthy need a postnuptial agreement, however this is not necessarily true. Every married couple with assets, debts, a business, or children from a previous relationship can benefit from a well drafted postnuptial agreement.

New Jersey divorce courts follow the principles of equitable distribution. This means that property attained during a marriage will not be split equally in a divorce. Instead, a family court judge will determine how to divide the property so that it is fair and equitable based on each spouse’s contribution.

Some factors that judges will look at to determine how to distribute property include:

  1. Length of the marriage
  2. Age and health of each spouse
  3. Education and earning potential of each spouse
  4. Whether either spouse helped further the other’s career or education
  5. If there are children, who is the primary caretaker

A valid postnuptial agreement will override state property distribution laws and outline a couple’s customized plans for their assets and liabilities.

What's Typically Included in a New Jersey Postnuptial Agreement

Every postnuptial agreement must include a full disclosure of assets and liabilities to be legally valid. Assets can include real property, investment accounts, business assets, trusts, retirement benefits and foreign assets. If either spouse fails to disclose assets, the other spouse could challenge the legality of the agreement due to fraud or unconscionability.

In addition to a full financial disclosure, the following provisions are typically included in most New Jersey postnuptial agreements

  • Property classification and division. A comprehensive list of what property is marital, what property is separate, and how marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation.
  • Spousal support. Terms of any spousal support that one spouse may be entitled to including the amount and duration of payments.
  • Debt allocation. How debts and liabilities incurred during the marriage will be allocated between the spouses. This is especially important if either party entered the marriage with a large amount of debt and marital funds were used to pay the debt.
  • Inheritance. Inheritance and gifts are typically separate property. However, to protect these assets, they should be included in a postnuptial agreement. If either spouse has a child from a previous relationship, inheritance for heirs can also be included in the agreement.
  • Business interests. If either spouse owns a business, the agreement can address how the business will be divided or valued in the event of a divorce or separation.
  • Legal fees. The agreement can outline how legal fees will be handled in the event of a divorce or separation.

When couples have children, they usually add provisions about child support and child custody to their marital agreement. In some cases, courts will honor the terms, however the court will also reserve the right to modify child support and custody terms. Courts are obligated to ensure that the interests of a child are protected. Marital agreements cannot waive child support for one spouse or limit visitation rights.

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Postnuptial Agreement Drafting in New Jersey

Hiring an attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement is highly recommended. A family lawyer will be familiar with New Jersey law and know what can and cannot be included and enforced in a New Jersey postnuptial agreement.

Before drafting a marital agreement, the lawyer will consult with the couple to learn about their financial situation and future plans. The attorney will then draft an agreement that implements the spouse’s requested terms.

Postnuptial Agreement Review in New Jersey

Some couples choose to draft their own postnuptial agreement without help or legal advice from an attorney. While this is an option, having a lawyer review the document ensures that it follows all New Jersey laws and that it will be held up in divorce court.

A lawyer can also assist a couple in understanding all the terms of the contract and what rights, if any, they may be surrendering. Under New Jersey law, couples must have sufficient time to review the agreement, or it could be overturned in court.

New Jersey Postnuptial Agreement Drafting Cost

When hiring a lawyer to draft a postnuptial agreement, you can expect to incur legal fees. Drafting contracts takes the time, knowledge, and legal expertise of a licensed lawyer.

According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average postnuptial agreement drafting costs in New Jersey are $1,075.00.

New Jersey Postnuptial Agreement Review Cost

Hiring an attorney to review a postnuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. Even though the attorney isn’t drafting the document, they will still use their time and legal knowledge to read the contract and advise clients about the agreement.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average postnuptial agreement review costs in New Jersey are $414.14.

How Do New Jersey Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?

Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements

Family law attorneys in New Jersey typically charge their clients using an hourly rate fee structure. With this fee agreement, a lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for time spent working on drafting the marital contract.

The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer in New Jersey ranges from $200 - $300 per hour.

Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements

Flat fee rates are commonly used when a lawyer is hired for a specific task like drafting or reviewing a postnuptial agreement. In a flat fee payment structure, an attorney will charge the client a flat fee price for the entire legal project.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a postnuptial agreement in New Jersey is $761.81.

Get Help with a New Jersey Postnuptial Agreement

Do you need help with a postnuptial agreement project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family lawyers who are licensed to practice law in New Jersey and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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