New Jersey Family Law Firm: Governor Christie Signs Bill Strengthening the Enforceability of Premarital Agreements

This year Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that amends both N.J.S.A § 37:2-38 and N.J.S.A § 37:2-32 to strengthen the enforceability of premarital agreements. Prior to the enactment of the new law, N.J.S.A. § 37:2-38 provided that premarital and pre-civil union agreements could be set aside by a court if deemed, at the time of enforcement, to be “unconscionable.” The purpose of the amendments to the statute is to protect the enforceability of prenuptial agreements, regardless of the parties’ circumstances at the time of the divorce.

The revisions brought about three major changes to the statute: (1) The determination of unconscionability is based on the circumstances that existed when the agreement was signed — not when enforcement is sought. (2) A court’s discretion in determining unconscionability is limited to the grounds set forth in N.J.S.A. § 37:2-38(c), full disclosure, independent counsel, waiver in writing. (3) The new standard applies only to prenuptial agreements executed or amended after June 27, 2013. Therefore, any person who is asked to amend their prior prenuptial agreement should take caution and be aware that they will now be subject to the stricter standard. The bill also amends N.J.S.A. § 37:2-32 by narrowing the definition of unconscionability.

Contact the Bridgewater Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates Today

If you or someone you know has a question about the recent change in divorce law or prenuptial agreements, call one of the skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.