By Snyder & Sarno on June 25, 2013
Premarital agreements have been popular in New Jersey for many years, but some of these agreements have recently taken a new twist. Generally, when we think of premarital agreements, we think of people protecting their valuable property and money. However, according to the New York Daily News and the ABA Journal, couples have increasingly been including some unique terms in their premarital agreements.
These agreements, dubbed “love contracts,” contain a variety of provisions, ranging from monetary awards for one of the parties if the other one is unfaithful, to clauses dictating what will happen if one of the parties gains too much weight, or formalizing exactly how much time couples spend together. These “love contracts” are also entered into between non-married couples who cohabit, and may even provide that the couple will never marry. “Love contracts” seem to be especially popular among celebrities.
As the ABA Journal and the New York Daily News point out, a big question with these “love contracts” is whether they are enforceable in court. In New Jersey, the enforceability of marital agreements is governed by statute. The contents of the agreement and what the parties are permitted to contract to include many provisions about rights and obligations to property and the disposition of it in the event that the marriage dissolves. The statute also includes a catch-all phrase that states “any other matter, including [the parties’] personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy.” At first, it seems that this catch-all could include some of the common provisions found in “love contracts.” However, it is important to remember that in order for premarital agreements to be enforceable in New Jersey, they must be fair and just, which means that prior to signing the agreement, the parties must fully disclose their assets and income and that the agreement cannot be unconscionable. Thus, the court would have to find that the “love contract” provisions were fair and just and not unconscionable in order for them to be enforceable.
If you have any questions or concerns about your marital agreement and what it should include, please contact the experienced attorneys at Snyder & Sarno at (973) 274-5200.
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