When you’re going through a divorce, the decisions seem endless. From who gets what property to child custody and support, these decisions significantly impact your family today and into the future.
When finalizing your divorce in New Jersey, you and your soon-to-be ex must have a property settlement agreement (PSA). PSAs are also called marriage settlement agreements (MSAs) or divorce agreements.
PSAs, though, involve quite a bit more than just property division. Generally, these legal documents address each party’s rights and responsibilities associated with the divorce. Keep reading to learn more about New Jersey PSAs.
What is Covered in a New Jersey PSA?
In New Jersey, property settlement agreements essentially memorialize all decisions related to your divorce, including:
- An equitable division of your property (including personal property and real estate, such as your family home)
- Parenting time (or visitation)
- Child custody
- Division of debts
- The division of retirement plan assets
- The division of business assets
- Tax issues
- Health insurance
- Any other issues related to your divorce
Because New Jersey PSAs address each party’s rights and responsibilities related to the dissolution of your marriage, the obligations must be clearly spelled out in writing, so that there are no misunderstandings that may need to be resolved by a court.
Can I Change the Terms of a Property Settlement Agreement?
Although you may have the best of intentions to cover all responsibilities when finalizing your New Jersey property settlement agreement, life happens. Circumstances change, and when they do, you’ll need to revise your property settlement agreement.
For example, one parent may find themselves traveling more for their job. Because of this, the parenting time schedule may need to change to accommodate the parent’s job.
Or, one spouse may decide to go back to school to get an advanced degree. However, while in school, it’s unknown what job that parent will have after graduation (and how much that job pays). Because of this, child support or alimony payments may need to change.
If you need to amend your New Jersey PSA, you can meet with a mediator to revise the agreement or ask your divorce attorney to petition the court to file an amendment.
Can Property Settlement Agreements Be Overturned in New Jersey?
If divorcing parties enter into a New Jersey property settlement agreement voluntarily, the agreement was carefully drafted, and each party had access to independent counsel during the drafting process, then it’s often difficult for the court to overturn the PSA, stating that it (or parts of it) aren’t valid.
However, parties may challenge a PSA if:
- Substantial changes to circumstances have occurred, requiring an amendment to the property settlement agreement
- One party was forced to sign the PSA under duress
- One party signed the PSA without the required mental capacity to do so
- The PSA contained language that ran afoul of New Jersey law
However, having an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney in your corner – especially one skilled in the complexities of property settlement agreements – ensures you and your children will be fairly treated during and after the divorce.
New Jersey Divorce Attorneys in Northern New Jersey
Are you in need of a divorce attorney in North Bergen or any of the surrounding areas in Northern New Jersey? Then Carvajal Law can help. We have experience with all manners of divorce, including property settlement agreements and their enforcement.
Speak to a New Jersey property settlement agreement about your divorce or separation today. Feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.