Will an ironclad pre-nup from one state be just as ironclad in another?

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Will an ironclad pre-nup from one state be just as ironclad in another?

I recently inherited a large sum from my mother. The lawyer for the estate told me that my pre-nup, signed 7 years ago, might not be valid in the state where I live now or in the state where I’m moving to. Therefore, he is holding up transfer of the inheritance until I’m sure I don’t need a trust or other vehicle to protect it. I can’t seem to find anyone who knows the answer to whether or not I will be leaving that inheritance open to my spouse should we divorce even if it remains in an account solely in my name as my other assets are. Do I need an enforcement order? How do I get one?

Asked on March 26, 2012 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

My experience is that there is no such thing as an iron clad pre-nuptial agreement. Such agreements are always subject to some possible claim to eliminate them in the way they are written.

However, if you inherited a large sum of moneyfrom your mother, under the laws of all sattes in this country, an inheritance is deemed personal and separate property of the person who is to get it. In your case, it seems that the inheritance would be separate property. To maintain the classification of this property as separate, you should place it in a bank account or stock brokerage account under your own name as separate property and continue to keep it as such. I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney further concerning your question to assist you.


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