Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as “prenups,” are a common source of drama in the media. The idea of signing a “what-if” agreement before saying “I do” in preparation for the failure of something that is supposedly a forever contract is not generally seen as a positive step. Postnuptial agreements, or “postnups” are not nearly as commonly used or referred to in everyday life or in the media, but both types of agreements are recognized by Georgia law.
A prenup is an agreement between a couple signed before getting married. It is a contract to protect the financial assets of the signatories in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can be as important as reserving the venue for the marriage to some couples. For others, a prenup could be a deal-breaker, signaling distrust in the other person and becoming a substantial obstacle in the process.
Prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable under Georgia law absent fraud, duress, mistake, misrepresentation or the non-disclosure of material facts. Additionally, a court will not enforce a prenup that is unconscionable or if the situation has changed so much as to make enforcement unfair and unreasonable. During the negotiations of the agreement, it is most practical to have both sides represented by counsel, although not entirely necessary. However, a court is more likely to find an agreement unenforceable where one party is not represented by an attorney.
Postnuptial agreements are post-marital contracts. Recently, the use of postnups have become more popular, although they continue to be rare. The agreement is similar to a prenup, the main difference being that the contract is signed after the couple is married. The purpose of a postnup, however, is the same: to protect the assets of the individuals and any income gained during the relationship. A postnuptial agreement can also be used to revise a prenup in order to ensure the agreement covers all of the assets. A postnup could also help to solve some financial issues that may arise during the course of a marriage.
There are many situations in which a couple might consider a postnuptial agreement. A postnup might be necessary or advisable where one or both spouses own a business to protect. A couple that is experiencing discord surrounding issues of finance might also consider a postnup in order to create more harmony within the marriage. Another example of a situation in which a postnup might be considered is where there has been adultery in the marriage in order to ensure the other spouse has some security.
The decision to enter into one of these agreements is one that an experienced family law attorney can help you to make and execute. Edwards & Associates may be able to advise and guide you on some of these issues. Contact our office or visit our website for more information. An experienced family law attorney may be able to help you determine your options and rights.