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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

While you may not plan for your marriage to end in divorce, the future is never completely certain. It’s smart to prepare for all possible developments. Doing so can actually add to your peace of mind in a marriage.

One way you may prepare is by entering into a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé or a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. In Georgia, such agreements offer financial protection and can simplify the divorce process if a marriage does end.

However, it’s very important to have proper legal guidance when entering into such an agreement. At Weiss Family Law, Atlanta prenuptial and postnuptial agreements attorney Traci A. Weiss can help you draft and enter into a fair agreement that can be legally enforced in Georgia.

Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements generally serve the same essential purposes. Both are legal contracts couples may enter into as a means of protecting their assets in the event that a marriage ends. The difference is that a prenuptial agreement is one a couple enters into before getting married, while a postnuptial agreement is one a couple enters into after they are married.

Some people are hesitant to even bring up the topic of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements with their partners. They may have heard that entering into such an agreement suggests a lack of faith in the strength of the relationship. Thus, they would rather avoid discussing the topic altogether.

This is understandable. However, it’s worth noting that entering into such an agreement can actually be very beneficial for all those involved. Specific advantages entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may offer include:

  • Protecting assets: A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help protect assets that were acquired before the marriage or possibly even some acquired during the marriage such as assets inherited during the marriage.
  • Establishing financial expectations: Getting married naturally involves two people combining their finances. Even if they technically keep their finances separate on paper, a marriage will nevertheless tend to include certain financial expectations and obligations. It’s important that these expectations be as clear as possible. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help in this capacity, as each party is required to make full and fair disclosures of their assets, debts, incomes and other liabilities in order for such agreements to be enforceable.
  • Allowing for an easier divorce: Partners may not wish to think about the possibility of eventually getting divorced upon first marrying one another. However, statistics indicate this is a possible outcome for which they should prepare. If a marriage does end in divorce, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can simplify the divorce process. These agreements are generally presumed to be valid and enforceable in Georgia as long as they meet certain requirements.

Be aware, there’s reason to believe that entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can actually help a couple guard against conflict. Surveys and studies indicate that one of the most common factors resulting in divorce is arguments over financial matters. If two partners enter into a legal agreement that addresses financial concerns from the start, they may potentially avoid those common relationship struggles.

While there is a general presumption in favor of these agreement being valid and enforceable, not all prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legally enforceable. In order to be enforceable, such an agreement must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by both parties
  • Entered into voluntarily (without duress)
  • Supported by adequate consideration, meaning that both parties involved in the agreement receive something of value or make a fair exchange in the agreement, so it is fair, and no one-sided
  • Based on full, accurate, and honest disclosure of the assets and liabilities of both parties

Additionally, if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is determined to be unconscionable or unfair in Georgia, it might not be enforceable.

Entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Georgia is a complex legal process that requires careful consideration and planning. An attorney can help in many ways, including:

  • Drafting the Agreement: An attorney can draft the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to ensure that it meets the legal requirements of Georgia law. They can only represent one party, but they can work with the attorney for the other party, or with clear explanation to the other party that they only represent one, can work with both partners to thoroughly understand each party’s goals, to better draft an agreement that satisfies the interests of both parties.
  • Reviewing the Agreement: Before signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important for each party to have it reviewed by their own attorney who can advise them of the impact of such an agreement on their interests, and possibly suggest revisions which may better achieve their desired results. An Atlanta prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer can help to ensure the agreement is fair and reasonable. If a couple doesn’t complete this step and later gets a divorce, they may find the agreement they entered into was never actually legally enforceable.
  • Negotiating the Agreement: Even when two partners agree that getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a good idea, they may not completely agree on the ideal terms of said agreement right away. A lawyer can help negotiate the agreement’s terms in these circumstances.
  • Ensuring Full Disclosure: Remember, in Georgia, both parties must fully disclose their assets, incomes and liabilities before entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. An attorney can help ensure that full disclosure is made and that the agreement is based on accurate information.
  • Protecting Your Interests: An attorney can ensure that your interests are protected when entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. They can advise you on your legal rights and obligations, and help you negotiate terms that are fair and reasonable.
  • Enforcing the Agreement: If a dispute arises regarding the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, an attorney can help seek or defend against enforcement of the agreement to protect your legal rights.

When choosing a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney in Georgia, your goal should be to hire someone thoroughly familiar with the state’s laws.

That’s precisely what you’ll find at Weiss Family Law. For decades, Traci A. Weiss has been practicing family law in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Her expertise can help ensure your Atlanta prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is legally sound and enforceable. Learn more by contacting our firm online today or calling us at (770) 727-0533.

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