A prenuptial agreement is entered into before the marriage and generally protects your premarital assets and can ensure that certain property is deemed exempt from equitable distribution and address other financial terms. If you are a part owner of a family business, a prenup can specify that this asset is protected from asset division. The prenup can lay out terms for alimony, including the length of the term, or whether alimony will be waived.
Be aware that in 2013 the rules concerning prenuptial agreements changed. Now both parties to the agreement must fully disclose all assets and obtain independent legal counsel. They must also enter into the prenup voluntarily and be afforded sufficient time to consider all of the terms of the prenup prior to the actual wedding.
If your prenup amounts to an agreement scribbled on the back of a napkin or you are relying on a verbal agreement made before marriage, the terms are unlikely to be recognized, barring other factors. If you have a prenup, show your attorney who can ask you pertinent questions about how it was created and under what circumstances.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.