In New Jersey, as in many other states, marital fault is not considered by the courts when making financial awards, either alimony or equitable distribution.  In other words, even though your spouse may have cheated on you or otherwise acted inappropriately during the marriage, you will not be able to receive additional marital compensation based on that fact alone.  The only exception is what is called a Tevis claim where a spouse can ask for monetary damages for physical or emotional abuse.  These claims are treated as a personal injury claim by the court.

To overcome this, many couples are building these claims into their prenuptial agreements, asking for specific monetary relief if their spouse commits a certain act.  For example, reportedly, pursuant to Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen’s prenuptial, either party would receive $4,000,000 if the other committed adultery.

A prenuptial can also be quite a bit more one sided.  It is reported that according to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones’ prenuptial, Catherine would receive $5,000,000 should Michael Douglas cheat on her.

Although it appears most common that married people feel they should be financially compensated for infidelity, prenuptial agreements can address other types of marital fault as well.  It is written that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s prenuptial states that if Keith does any illicit drugs, he will forfeit the other provisions in the prenuptial that provide for him financially should they divorce.

To talk to an attorney experienced in preparing prenuptial agreements, contact one of the lawyers at Iandoli & Edens at (908) 879-9499.

Advertisements