What You Need to Know About Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Georgia
Divorce lawyer in Cobb County, GA provides a full range of services
As societal attitudes have changed, there has been an increased demand for the legal protections that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements provide. However, if the parties do not properly execute their agreement, there is little chance a court will enforce it. The Law Offices of Daryl L. Kidd, P.C. provides a full range of services related to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, including negotiating, drafting, challenging and defending these instruments. With more than 30 years of family law experience, we have the skill and knowledge to advance your goals with regard to your pre- or postnuptial agreement.
Why should anyone have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?
Individual circumstances prompt many couples to create prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. These include:
- A couple is realistic about the high incidence of divorce, even in states like Georgia.
- Each spouse has a career.
- Spouses are entering the marriage with unequal assets or debt.
- One or both spouses wish to leave a legacy to children from a previous marriage.
- A spouse receives a significant inheritance during the marriage.
- At some point in the marriage, one spouse suffers financial reversals while the other exceeds earning expectations.
Couples can negotiate many aspects of their financial relationship, designating certain property marital and other separate, to protect themselves from the equitable distribution process if divorce should occur. A spouse may use a pre- or postnup to waive alimony. However, the couple cannot waive child support, since that is the right of the child.
What makes a prenuptial agreement valid in Georgia?
A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract that the court can choose to enforce or invalidate. Courts in Georgia apply factors taken from the Georgia Supreme Court decision of Scherer v. Scherer:
- Was the prenuptial agreement obtained through fraud, duress or mistake, or through misrepresentation or nondisclosure of material facts? In other words, was one of the signers deceived or pressured? If so, the signed document does not represent a true agreement. Deception occurs when one of the signees fails to disclose the true state of his finances or makes a false oral presentation of the contents of the document. A signee may feel pressured when presented with a fully drafted document to sign or the wedding is off! To ensure a prenup is valid, each side should retain a family law attorney to negotiate the agreement.
- Is the agreement unconscionable? Unconscionable means that it grossly benefits one party to the detriment of the other. Fairness is another reason why each party should have an attorney to negotiate the agreement.
- Have the facts and circumstances changed since the agreement was executed so as to make its enforcement unfair and unreasonable? This point may come into play when one party’s conduct — especially while acting contrary to the prenup’s terms — has harmed the other, and the harm would be even greater if the prenup were now enforced.
Divorce attorney Daryl L. Kidd has litigated cases in which the interpretation, enforcement or invalidation of a pre- or postnuptial agreement was key to our client’s success. Our experience in court informs our services for negotiating and drafting agreements.
Contact a knowledgeable Marietta attorney for prenuptial agreements
If you have questions about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, see The Law Offices of Daryl L. Kidd, P.C. for answers. We can help you at any stage of the process: negotiating, reviewing, drafting, challenging or defending your agreement. Call 888-532-8543 or contact our Marietta office online.