Ripped Up Prenup Still Enforceable

Nov 17, 2014

As reported by the New York Post, a Brooklyn judge recently ruled that a prenuptial agreement is still enforceable even if the parties dramatically ripped up copies of the document on their honeymoon.  The parties were married after a 3-week courtship and the husband’s dad urged the signing of the prenuptial agreement or he would have cut his son off financially.  The prenuptial agreement limited alimony to five years and limited the wife’s right to some of the assets. The judge decided that the document is enforceable because it specifically states that no other agreements besides the prenuptial agreement will be valid.

In New Jersey, prenuptial agreements are governed by statute.  A prenuptial agreement is a document between spouses made in contemplation of marriage that sets out each parties rights in the event of a divorce.  In order to be enforceable, the agreement must be “fair and just.”  D’Onofrio v. D’Onofrio, 200 N.J. Super 361 (App. Div. 1985).  Under N.J.S.A. 37:2-31-41, the parties must also make full financial disclosure in order for the prenuptial agreement to be valid.  In addition, in order to amend or revoke the prenuptial agreement, the parties must draft and sign a new written document stating their intent to alter or revoke the prenuptial agreement. Thus, tearing up the prenuptial agreement may not be enough to satisfy revocation.

If you are contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement, it is wise to seek the advice of a skilled matrimonial lawyer.  The aid of an attorney, like those at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC, can ensure that you won’t be relinquishing all or most of your rights when you sign a prenuptial agreement.  Call us today at 973 274- 5200 to have your questions answered.