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Prenuptial – Premarital Agreements

Augusta Family Law Attorneys Draft Prenuptial Agreements

Established firm helps Georgians protect their separate property before marriage

Prenuptial agreements have become more common for a number of reasons. One reason is the high incidence of divorce. Another is that more couples are also marrying later in life, so they are more likely to bring assets to the relationship that they have worked hard to earn and want to protect, as well as debt, which can be a concern for their intended spouse. Couples entering a second marriage might also want to protect an inheritance for their children from a prior marriage. Whatever your concerns, Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm can clarify the issues for you, negotiate on your behalf, and draft a premarital agreement that can hold up in court. Having a sound prenuptial agreement in place gives spouses an added layer of security, which can take pressure off the relationship, helping their marriage in the long run.

Knowledgeable counselors explain the laws regarding Georgia prenups

Georgia is one of the few states that have no specific statute governing premarital agreements, but there is ample case law to indicate how an agreement must be formed and what an agreement can contain. Here are a few of the requirements for a valid prenup in Georgia:

  • Written — A premarital agreement is a contract. It must be in writing and signed. Although Georgia courts will enforce an oral contract, they will not enforce an oral prenup.
  • Voluntary — Each spouse must sign willingly, without duress or coercion by the other.
  • Reasonable — The court will not invalidate a prenup that seems to favor one spouse over the other, but will void a prenup that is “unconscionable.” This generally means it imposes severe and unnecessary hardship on one party.
  • Validly executed — A prenup must be signed and notarized.

Of these four requirements, the one that most often raises issues in court is whether the agreement was entered into voluntarily. A spouse challenging a prenup will often allege there was emotional blackmail used to compel signing. To avoid this possibility, you should negotiate the prenup well in advance of the wedding date, and each spouse should have separate legal representation.

Dedicated lawyers advise on the goals of a premarital agreement

The goal of any prenuptial agreement is often to protect the individual property a person brings to the marriage, but prenups can also include:

  • A plan for handling finances during the marriage
  • A plan for dividing marital property proportionally in the event of divorce
  • The disposition of separate property during the marriage, such as inheritances, gifts and trust income
  • Protecting inheritance for children of a previous marriage
  • Stipulations for spousal support for separation or divorce
  • Child custody settlement

Spouses cannot make provisions for child support that would violate their children’s rights.

An important point to bear in mind is that couples can void their own premarital agreement in part or in whole by violating its terms during the marriage. For example, if the agreement calls for the higher-earning spouse to take ownership of the family home, but she or he does not make the mortgage payments required in the agreement, that provision would not stand up in court.

With trustworthy family law advice from Hunter Rhodes, you can negotiate and execute an agreement that you can maintain during your marriage and that will hold up in court if necessary.

Contact a trustworthy family law attorney in Augusta for advice on a prenuptial agreement

Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm helps clients execute sound premarital agreements in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties. To schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled family law attorney, call our Augusta office at 706-496-1616 or contact us online.

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Office Location
  • Augusta Office
    3540 Wheeler Road, Unit 402
    Augusta, Georgia 30909
    Phone: 706-496-1616
    Fax: 706-722-4817