Prenuptial Agreements In Georgia: A Comprehensive Guide

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Need to learn what the requirements are for prenuptial agreements in Georgia? Read on to learn about the process it takes to obtain one.

When getting married, it isn’t uncommon for many couples to decide in advance how they will resolve any issues relating to financial matters if they were to get divorced. This is where a prenuptial agreement comes into play. A couple can sign a prenuptial agreement where they will document their wishes regarding issues such as alimony and the division of property in a contract.

Different states have individual laws that state how a prenuptial agreement is enforced. If you are from Georgia and are considering entering into prenuptial agreements in Georgia but are not sure how to go about it, here is a guide to help you sort things out.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people, also known as an antenuptial agreement or a premarital agreement, and is signed before the two people get married. The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to clearly state how, if their marriage is dissolved, a couple will handle any outstanding debts, divide their property, and manage all other financial issues. The agreement also will state the manner in which the couple wants to handle these issues.

When a couple gets divorced, their properties and belongings get divided, regardless of whether they have a prenuptial agreement or not. But not having a prenuptial means that the state law decides how these things are handled. If you want to have a say in how these arrangements are made, it is best to have a prenuptial agreement stating these terms in advance, rather than having the state make the decisions for you.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for Me?

Prenuptial agreements might work for you, but they are certainly not for everyone. Many people have the misconception that only rich people should get a prenuptial agreement. The reality is if you have loans, own assets, have debts, or have children, you can definitely look into getting a prenuptial agreement. The assets you own from before your marriage can be protected from ending up in your spouse’s hands once you get divorced using a prenuptial agreement.

Having this agreement will also protect you from having to pay off the debts of your spouse. You will also want to protect any inheritance you may have come across from falling in the wrong hands after divorce. Similarly, you can also protect the inheritance you plan on giving to your child through a prenuptial agreement.

What Factors Are Covered in a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement mainly states how you want to retain or divide your property in case you get divorced. It also covers the matter of any alimony that needs to be paid. Through this agreement, you can list what property or assets each spouse owns while getting married. You can also specify how you want to divide any income and properties that you both have accumulated while you were married.

These things can include who gets to keep the retirement accounts, business interests, and debts from personal credit cards. You need to sit down with your spouse and discuss what to include in your prenuptial agreement before the wedding.

Is My Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable in Georgia?

The Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act has been adopted by many states across the USA. Georgia is not one of those states, as Georgia prenuptial agreements are required to be in writing. There have to be at least two witnesses who have watched both the spouses sign the agreement, and they will sign off on it themselves. The agreement then needs to be filed in the local county superior court clerk’s office within three months of the date that the agreement was signed.

Both the spouses must be old enough to get married and both have to be mentally competent. Of course, neither spouse can be married to some other person at the time of getting married, nor can they be related to one another in any way. The list of assets needs to be honestly mentioned by each spouse. Both the spouses will have the opportunity to speak to an attorney before signing to receive a comprehensive guide to prenuptial agreements in Georgia, as the courts in Georgia uphold the agreements that are filed only a day or two before the wedding takes place.

When Does a Prenuptial Agreement Get Refused by the Court?

If you have a prenup agreement and are going through a divorce, the judge will check and decide to see if your agreement can be enforced. There are a few instances when the agreement can get invalidated:

  • A spouse has not disclosed material facts or has misrepresented them.
  • The agreement was obtained by a spouse using fraudulent means, during duress, or by a mistake.
  • The agreement is so unfair that it is not enforceable by the court.
  • The enforcement is unreasonable and unfair as the circumstances of the couple have changed since when they signed the agreement.

If a spouse lies about the facts that are crucial to the marriage agreement, then he or she is committing fraud. This can directly lead to the invalidation of the prenuptial agreement. If one of the spouses intentionally withheld significant information about assets that he owns in the prenuptial agreement, the agreement can be voided.

Duress can also invalidate the agreement. This occurs when a spouse forces the other to sign an agreement by threatening them physically or psychologically. Not disclosing material facts can also get an agreement invalidated. An agreement will not be enforceable if one of the spouses lies about how many assets they owned when the agreement was signed.

Not being honest about their income in the prenuptial agreement can also cause it to get invalidated. So sit and discuss what you are including in the prenuptial agreement beforehand to avoid any dishonesty.

Summing Up

A prenuptial agreement is a safeguard to handle things more efficiently when and if you are getting a divorce. It paves the path for a peaceful settlement by omitting the causes of dispute. For those of you who are confused about what a prenuptial agreement is and if you should be signing one, we hope this article has helped you by providing a guide to prenuptial agreements in Georgia.

Planning a wedding can be tough as it is, so having adequate information on whether you should get a prenuptial agreement or not can ease your mind a lot. Best wishes for your wedding and a bright future.