Prenuptial Agreements as a Part of Newlywed Planning in Atlanta

Prenuptial Agreements as a Part of Newlywed Planning in Atlanta

Atlanta prenuptial agreements lawyer

 

There are few times in life that are as exciting and full of promise as the period of wedding and newlywed planning.  People know that their wedding day will be one of the most remembered of their lives.  While there is certainly stress involved in making so many decisions, there is also an underlying sense of fun.

Unfortunately, there are some aspects of newlywed planning that are not quite as enjoyable as others.  Still, paying attention to things like estate planning and prenuptial agreements help to set up the marriage in a healthy way.  Some people will argue against that notion, but marriage lawyers in Atlanta GA have seen the benefits of this kind of preparation.

The prenup itself is a legal contract between the two parties who plan to be married.  Just what is covered in the document will depend on you and your future spouse and your circumstances.  For example, if this is your first marriage and there are no children involved, your needs will be different than for couples whose marriages will be blending families with stepchildren.

The idea of a prenup is generally to determine how property will be divided should the marriage not survive.  It also takes into consideration things such as spousal support that might be extended and the circumstances surrounding it.

State laws vary quite a bit when it comes to prenups, so it’s really important for Atlanta, Georgia, couples to find an attorney that practices within the state.  Actually, you will want to find two separate lawyers, as each prospective spouse should have his or her own representation.  This is important, not just because it protects each individual’s best interests up front, but because if and when the prenup needs to be upheld, the courts are much more likely to honor it for the same reason.

Not Just for Marriages that End

One mistaken notion that many people have is that prenuptial agreements are only useful if the marriage comes to an end.  What commonly gets overlooked is that it is actually a useful tool in avoiding divorce.  When couples take the time to outline their thoughts about the financial aspects of their upcoming marriage, they are better able to get on the same page about money, fidelity, and other important topics that the marriage lawyers are going to bring up for discussion.

We help lots of prospective brides or grooms in and around Atlanta plan for their futures together with prenuptial agreements. If you’d like our help, please call us at 770-425-6060.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Georgia Prenuptial Agreement FAQ

What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two people who are to be married. The purpose of a Prenuptial Agreement is to set forth certain rights for each party in the event of a divorce. Sometimes provisions for property distribution upon death are included, but such provisions are better placed in a Last Will and Testament.

Why do people get prenuptial agreements?
The most common reason for a Prenuptial Agreement is to protect property that one or both parties owned before the marriage from becoming divided upon divorce.

What is an "antenuptial agreement" or a "premarital agreement"?
These are all synonyms for a Prenuptial Agreement. They all refer to the same concept, the same type of document.

Can I sign a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement after I get married?
Yes. It would be called a "Post-Nuptial Agreement" and Georgia law does currently recognize such documents.

Does everyone getting married need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. Prenuptial Agreements are generally utilized by parties who have considerable assets prior to the marriage and want to keep those assets separate or those who have been through a divorce and want to minimize the cost and time if they unfortunately go through another divorce. Without a prenuptial agreement, it is possible in certain circumstances for separate or premarital property to lose its separate quality and it can then become marital property or can be used to pay alimony.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement cover alimony?
Sometimes, Prenuptial Agreements are used to limit, establish or eliminate alimony in the event of a divorce.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement affect child custody or child support?
Generally speaking, Prenuptial Agreements do not deal with child custody or child support. Judges make the final decision on custody, and parties cannot pre-determine child support because the law regards child support as being a right for a child, and parties cannot override that right. Custody also must be determined AT THE TIME OF THE DISPUTE since no one can predict all the circumstances which will exist at the time of a custody dispute.

I already have a house and property and I want to protect it. Will a Prenuptial Agreement help?
Yes. If you own property before the marriage and you want to protect that property in the event of divorce, a well drafted and enforceable Prenuptial Agreement can make it easier for you to keep that property in the event of a divorce.

Do I need my own lawyer if my fiancé’s attorney prepared a Prenuptial Agreement?
Yes. It is important to have your own counsel explain fully the proposed Agreement and the potential pitfalls that could affect you in the event of a divorce. Your attorney can suggest changes to the proposed Agreement that can dramatically affect to your benefit what happens in the event of a divorce.

Does my fiancé need their own lawyer if my attorney prepares a Prenuptial Agreement?
Yes. Not only does it make it more fair (each side has independent advice), it also makes it more enforceable since neither can later argue that they did not understand what they were signing.

Even if my spouse and I have a Prenuptial Agreement, can we change the terms later?
Yes. You can "re-up the Prenup" by having your attorney prepare an addendum to the original Agreement. After that has been properly signed and witnessed, it becomes a part of the original Agreement and will reflect the new terms you have changed.

What if my spouse and I decide, after years of marriage, that we no longer want to have the Prenuptial Agreement in effect?
Most well-written Prenuptial Agreements will contain a provision that dictates exactly how to cancel the Prenuptial Agreement so that it is no longer in effect. Further, your attorney can build in Asunset@ provisions to the original Prenuptial Agreement that provide for its automatic cancellation after an agreed-upon amount of years.

Will a Prenuptial Agreement determine how my spouse’s property is distributed after his/her death?
Not unless you insist on such a provision. It is strongly recommended that you each have a Last Will and Testament to cover what happens to property upon the death of a spouse. Generally, a good Prenuptial Agreement will contain language that says that either of you are free to give or will away any property you want to the other party.

Are Prenuptial Agreements expensive?
As is in most cases, the cost is based on how long it takes your attorney to prepare the Agreement. Prenuptial Agreements take a lot of time to prepare since they are an attempt to resolve disputes which have not yet occurred and which are based upon factors which do not yet exist (changes in income, assets, the birth of children, etc.) In some limited cases, Prenuptial Agreements can be prepared on a flat fee basis. See your attorney for more complete fee and cost information.

SOURCE: DivorceNet

SOURCE FOR POST: Georgia Family Law Blog

8 Reasons Why You Should Get A Prenuptial Agreement

I have discovered a new blog dealing exclusively with prenuptial agreements at PrenuptialAgreements.org. Great content! Here is the author’s explanation of reasons to have a prenuptial agreement:


A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people that deals with the financial consequences of their marriage ending.

All marrying couples have a "prenuptial agreement" – it is known as "divorce law." However, a lot of people are unhappy with the way divorce law works, and prefer to take control of their lives, rather than leave it in the hands of the government. In these cases, it makes a lot of sense to get a customized prenup.

Getting a prenuptial agreement is particularly important in these 8 cases:

1. You are much wealthier than your partner. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that your partner is marrying you for who you are, and not for your money.

2. You earn much more than your partner. A prenuptial agreement can be used in many states to limit the amount of alimony that is payable.

3. You are remarrying. When you remarry, your legal and financial concerns are often very different than in your first marriage. You may have children from a previous marriage, support obligations, and own a home or other significant assets. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that when you pass away, your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and that neither your first family, nor your new family are cut off.

4. Your partner has a high debt load. If you are marrying someone with a significant debt load, and don’t want to be responsible for these debts if your marriage ends, then a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that this does not happen.

5. You own part of a business. Without a prenuptial agreement, when your marriage ends, your spouse could end up owning a share of your business. Your business partners may not want this to happen. A prenup can ensure that your spouse does not become an unwanted partner in your business.

6. To prevent your spouse from overturning your estate plan. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that you estate plan works, and, for instance, ensure that a specific heirloom remains in your family.

7. You are much poorer than your partner. Just as a prenuptial agreement can be used to protect a spouse who is well off, a prenup can also be used to ensure that the partner who is weaker financially is protected.

8. If you plan to quit your job to raise children. Quitting your job will negatively impact your income and your wealth. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the financial burden of raising the children is shared fairly by both partners.

SOURCE: PrenuptialAgreements.org

Prenup primer

These days, Hollywood is buzzing from some high-profile divorces. [Last November], Britney Spears filed for divorce from her two-year marriage to Kevin Federline, whose nickname has gone from "K-Fed" to "Fed-Ex." On the heels of that news, a day later, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe also filed for divorce.

The difference between the two: Witherspoon did not have a prenuptial agreement, and Phillippe will likely have a claim to a substantial portion of her $60 million estimated net worth. The estimated $29 million in earnings from her next film may also be at stake — her ex could get half.

But Spears did have a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it was a 60-page agreement that protects most of her estimated $100 million fortune. Britney could get away with paying Federline a measly $300,000, which he says he is owed, plus $30,000 a month for half the number of years they were married, which would amount to one year. That’s pocket change for Britney. He is also contesting "communal property," but Britney and her lawyers are claiming that there isn’t any.

(more…)

Premarital Agreements FAQ’s

1) WHAT IS A PRE-MARITAL AGREEMENT?
A pre-marital agreement may be entered into by competent adults who are legally able to marry. The purpose of such an agreement is to avoid the usual legal consequences of joining the estates of two parties by marriage. Many people have an established estate, and/or established responsibilities to prior family, which they would like to see protected from the new spouse and new obligations. This can only be done by the consent of both parties to the marriage, and with full knowledge of each other’s financial situation.

2) WILL IT HOLD UP IN COURT?
It is important to understand that the enforceability of the agreement is the most important concern, and sometimes compromises must be made to ensure enforceability. An agreement that was made without full disclosure, or entered into without proper legal advice, or under duress, will probably not hold up in court. You must be aware that such a document will almost always be scrutinized by a court at the time it is enforced to determine if it was fair at the time it was signed, whether the parties understood what they were signing, and had proper legal advice.

3) WHEN SHOULD YOU MAKE A PRE-MARITAL AGREEMENT?
To avoid the appearance of duress, the agreement should be done as far in advance of the wedding date as possible, and before expensive preparations are made. Both sides should have independent legal counsel to advise them. Remember, this is basically a divorce settlement entered into before marriage, and, if done properly, could serve as the basis of an uncontested divorce if the marriage ends, thus avoiding a costly legal battle over these issues.

4) CAN A MARITAL AGREEMENT BE DONE AFTER THE WEDDING?
A Marital Agreement can be made after the wedding whenever differences arise between the parties regarding the future financial issues. The Agreement must be based upon some consideration other than the marriage itself. Sometimes such an Agreement is made as part of a reconciliation of the parties or following some other dispute. Such an Agreement has been held to be just as enforceable as a Premarital Agreement.

SOURCE: DivorceNet