New Jersey Family Law Blog
Marital Agreements and Child Custody
Marital agreements, like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and non-marital agreements, can be great ways for couples to more clearly define their responsibilities to one another and their individual rights, both during their relationship and also in the event their relationship should end.
Typically, these marital agreements will focus primarily on the couple’s financial relationship, addressing things like marital property and separate property, and how certain assets should be divided in a divorce or the dissolution of the relationship. While marital agreements can also include a plan for child custody in the event the relationship ends, there are a number of important considerations of which you should be aware if you are thinking of drafting or modifying your marital agreement to include terms regarding child custody or parenting time.
Denville Child Custody Lawyers Discuss NJ’s “Best Interest” Standards
When it comes to child custody and parenting time determinations in New Jersey, these matters are all decided based on “the best interests” of the children involved. (For a complete list of what factors are taken into consideration when deciding what may be in the best interests of a child, you can view our article from last week.)
This means that while parents are free to include terms for child custody and visitation in their prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or cohabitation agreement, those terms will only be enforced if a court finds that those terms are, in fact, in the best interests of the children.
Marital Agreements and Child Custody for Children from a Previous Marriage, Morris County Family Law Firm
So while the terms for child custody in your Morris County marital agreement may not be enforceable should your relationship dissolve, it may be possible to outline certain parenting time and child custody terms for children from a previous marriage.
Many times a person will bring children from a previous marriage to a new relationship, and over time their new partner develops a parental relationship with these children. Since they are not technically the parents of these children, they will not be afforded child custody or visitation should their relationship end. However, by creating a parenting time plan within a marital agreement, and according a non-biological parent certain parental rights, parents can feel more secure in the knowledge that they will continue to enjoy the relationships they have developed with the children of their new partner.
Contact Our Hanover Marital Agreement Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to draft, modify, enforce, and contest marital agreements of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Denville, Hanover, Florham Park, Madison, Randolph, Morris Plains, Mt. Olive and Morristown.
By creating a fair and effective plan for your financial future and your future as a couple in a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or cohabitation agreement, you can build the foundation for a more protected future, learn to communicate more honestly and openly with your partner, and save yourself a great deal of time, money and stress should your relationship ever come to an end.
To speak with our legal team today in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment regarding your unique needs, concerns, and situation when it comes to any kind of marital agreement or other family law issue such as child custody and parenting time, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 718-7705.