What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legal document that a couple executes before they marry to determines the division of property in the event of a future divorce. Although it may not be romantic, having an open and honest financial conversation before the wedding day can be positive and smart in the long run. Read this article to understand the pros and cons of prenups and help you determine if a prenup is right for you.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
The topic of prenups with your future spouse shouldn’t be approached with anger or confusion. This type of legal agreement is highly beneficial to both individuals, as prenups protect assets. Positive reasons to get a prenup include:
- Ensuring that your property is kept separate upon marriage so that it will not be divisible in the event of divorce
- Identifying property that is “separate property” (and not divisible in the event of divorce) and that is “marital property” (and is divisible in the event of divorce)
- Reducing the likelihood of a contentious divorce by making plans for marital assets and debts
- Agreeing on other financial issues that may arise within the marriage
- Determining a system through which both individuals will decide future financial or marital issues
Disadvantages of a Prenuptial Agreement
Naturally, there are downsides to a prenuptial agreement. Depending on what you and your spouse discuss, signing one may not be the right decision. A few disadvantages when it comes to signing a prenuptial agreement may include:
- It may feel unromantic during marriage planning
- A prenup cannot address child support or child custody issues
- It can’t include personal preferences, such as dividing chores, holiday plans, or what school your future children should attend
Do You Really Need One?
Prenups aren’t required for any couple, but it does have its benefits for both individuals getting ready to walk down the aisle. Without a prenup, an asset owned prior to the marriage (premarital asset) can become a marital asset subject to equitable division in favor of the spouse.
Signing a prenup is a major decision, and you should never spring it on your future spouse. Take the time to have an in-depth, honest conversation about your financial future together.
How to Get a Prenup in Georgia
In the United States, many states have the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act. This act explains what your prenuptial agreement must include to be enforceable. However, the state of Georgia does not.
In Georgia, all prenuptial agreements should:
- Be in writing
- Have at least two people to “witness” the signing of the agreement
- Be filed in the county superior court clerk’s office where one spouse lives, within three months of the signing date
Each individual needs to list his or her assets in the prenuptial agreement. In addition, both spouses must have the time and opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney about the prenuptial agreement before signing. Georgia courts uphold prenuptial agreements signed only a day or two before a wedding, as long as both individuals had the opportunity to speak with an attorney.
If you and your future spouse are considering signing a prenup in Georgia, reach out to the family law attorneys at Boudreaux Law Firm in Augusta, GA. From the help of our experienced attorneys, you’ll have a prenuptial agreement that will satisfy both you and your future spouse before walking down the aisle.