Heymann & Fletcher

Prenuptial agreements on the rise among immigrants

Regardless of one's opinions on our new political administration, few can argue that a number of social issues haven't been impacted by the Trump administration. A prime example is the way that immigrants function within the nation's borders. In terms of family law, attorneys in New Jersey and elsewhere are reporting a spike in the number of immigrants who are pursuing prenuptial agreements prior to marrying American citizens.

The reason behind that uptick may be concerns over potential changes to immigration policies. Many couples who are already engaged and planning to marry and pursue one spouse's citizenship are worried that they could be separated by a sudden change in immigration policy. Some are even moving up the date of their marriage in order to move closer to citizenship. As part of that process, couples are asking for prenuptial agreements to be drafted to meet that accelerated timeline.

A problem arises when a prenup is rushed. To begin, immigration officials will look at the document, and could interpret a prenup as a suggestion that the marriage is taking place for reasons other than love and family. In addition, a prenuptial agreement that is rushed is subject to legal challenges down the line. If a spouse is able to convince a court that he or she signed the document under duress, then the provisions held within could be declared null and void.

For those New Jersey residents who are concerned about moving up their wedding date, it is important to consult a family law attorney prior to taking any action. No two cases are the same, and it is absolutely critical that each couple chooses a path that is right for them. As with so many things, creating prenuptial agreements in haste is often the wrong option.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Immigration fears lead to sped-up weddings -- and prenups", Katie Johnston, April 2, 2017

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