Premarital Agreements and Medicaid Eligibility in New Jersey

Premarital Agreements and Medicaid Eligibility in New Jersey

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a NJ Medicaid Attorney and Law Firm

 

Medicaid says it does not recognize premarital agreements signed by spouses prior to entering into a first, second or subsequent marriage.  A premarital agreement is a signed contract between two competent adults prior to marriage which addresses each other’s economic, and financial support obligations and responsibilities during the marriage and/or in the event of divorce or the death of one spouse.  These agreements are legally binding upon each signatory provided certain formalities and disclosures are made (these formalities and disclosures are outside the scope of this page).  But there are strategies which I believe preclude Medicaid from refusing to acknowledge and enforce these agreements. In my opinion, Medicaid is powerless to deny an otherwise lawful premarital (a/k/a prenuptial agreement) legality.  To be successful however requires a deliberate strategy and precise timing.

My strategy requires an immediate application to the Superior Court to obtain a judgment that declares the prenuptial agreement enforceable and enters a divorce from the prospective (or actual) institutional spouse.

There is an interesting dynamic and running conflict within New Jersey laws when this strategy is contemplated.  First there are published cases that hold each spouse to be legally responsible to the other spouse for life’s “essential necessities,” but this case law does not address the enforceability of those obligations when a premarital agreement has been legally signed by the spouse prior to marriage.  Therefore, filing for divorce and enforcing the terms of the premarital agreement is your only option to escape Medicaid’s non-negotiable position on marriage, which is if you’re married when you file for Medicaid you’re bound by the Medicaid laws.

Please read my extensive blog on this subject found under the Recent Posts/Blogs section of this page. http://bit.ly/1o6vWmd Click here

 

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.