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Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Family Law: What’s a Prenup

Another wedding season is upon us, and engaged couples are planning like whirling dervishes.  Is a prenuptial agreement part of your wedding plans?

Arguments about finances have ruined many marriages, and fighting over assets during a divorce makes a bad situation worse.  For many Georgia couples, a prenup agreement is the key to setting appropriate expectations up front and avoiding strife in the long run.

Prenuptial agreements are usually ideal for:

  • Small business owners

  • Couples who have been married before and/or have children from a previous relationship

  • Couples or individuals who have sizable assets going into a marriage, such as homes

A prenup agreement usually includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or separation. Some prenups even include penalties if the divorce is the result of infidelity. 

Recommendations for a successful prenup:

  • Both parties must fully disclose their assets, so do your homework and bring a detailed list when you meet with your attorney (under Georgia law, non-disclosure can make the agreement invalid)

  • Both you and your future spouse should have your own attorney to ensure that the agreement is fair and enforceable

  • Work with attorneys who specialize in family law and practice in the state where you will be living

  • Start the prenup process well before your wedding date, so you and your future spouse have ample time to review the terms and come to an agreement

  • Make sure that the signatures are witnessed on multiple copies of the agreement, and both parties and the attorney  have copies of the executed agreement for their files

What can’t (or shouldn’t) be included in a prenup:

  • You can’t waive rights to child support payments

  • Requirements that are obviously unfair to one party

  • Frivolous requirements that don’t involve finances

What’s a post-nuptial agreement?

It’s recommended that you review your prenuptial agreement at regular intervals, such as every 5-10 years.  Under Georgia Law, a prenuptial agreement may become invalid if circumstances have changed significantly since the agreement and therefore enforcement of the contract is unfair or unreasonable.  The creation of a new agreement, or changes to an existing prenuptial agreement, would qualify as a postnuptial agreement.  

For more information on family law matters, email Megan Pearson at mpearson@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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