Who doesn’t love to read about celebrities fighting over a prenuptial agreement in the tabloid news? While many people think that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous, I am here to tell you, as a Georgia divorce attorney, why it’s important and beneficial for anyone who is getting married in Georgia to consider getting a prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenuptial agreement in the state of Georgia?
A prenuptial agreement is commonly referred to as a prenup but note that the Georgia courts call it an “antenuptial agreement”. Either way, it is a legal contract drafted between two parties before getting married and it becomes effective upon marriage.
In Georgia, an antenuptial agreement may address:
- Property division
- Attorney’s fees
- Retirement accounts
- And more
A prenup cannot be used to:
- Limit or contract around child support or child custody
- Govern non-financial situations
- Issue ultimatums for divorce – for example, it cannot say “If Wife doesn’t do ______ then I can file for divorce.”
In addition to the above criteria, a Georgia prenup is only valid if:
- The contract is in writing
- The terms are lawful
- It contains signatures from both parties
- It is attested by at least two witnesses and one of the witnesses is a notary
- It is notarized
- It is signed voluntarily (not under duress, intimidation, deceit, etc.,)
- The contract is signed at a reasonable time before the wedding (For example, if a prenup is signed one hour before the wedding ceremony, it is likely to be found signed under duress and therefore would not be enforceable.)
- Discloses full and accurate financial assets and income
Through my experience in domestic litigation cases, I highly recommend that when signing a prenuptial agreement in Georgia, each party is represented by their own attorneys and that both include an attorney’s certification document in the prenup.
When is it a good idea to consider a prenup?
As I mentioned, you don’t have to be wealthy to consider a prenuptial agreement. The main reason many people enter into a prenup is to protect future assets, such as earnings, retirement savings, and inheritances.
However, prenups may also:
- Clarify financial obligations during the marriage
- Define debt ownership
- Protect businesses
- Protect future gifts and inheritances
- Protect pets – Yes, you read that correctly. A prenup can be used to declare who will take financial care of and ownership of fur babies in the event of a divorce.
- Protect confidentiality – If you have a trust fund or private business that you don’t want to become public, you may use a prenup to prohibit your partner from divulging this information publicly.
- To address unequal wealth in a relationship
Where can I get a prenup in Georgia?
If you want to make sure that all your bases are covered, I recommend hiring an attorney to help you because every prenup is truly unique. While there are many cookie-cutter prenup agreements available online, there is nothing like discussing your concerns face-to-face with an expert.
At Pepitone Family Law, we believe in serving our clients with honest transparency to lead them to make informed and empowered decisions. We offer flat fee service rates so no one has to worry about unexpected legal bills.
If you’re looking for a Georgia prenup lawyer in Gwinnett County, Fulton County, Chatham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas, contact our office at (770) 800-2681 or schedule a consultation on our website.