When people first heard of prenuptial agreements, the general consensus was that they were unromantic and only for the rich and famous. However, that began to change as more people started second or third marriages later in life and came into the union with considerable assets and children from previous relationships they wanted to provide for financially. With a high divorce rate for all marriages, even people getting married for the first time are seeing the value in prenuptial agreements.
When you get a divorce without a prenuptial agreement in place, Georgia laws dictate the division of assets and liabilities. When you have papers drawn up with a prenup lawyer, you and your spouse determine the terms of your divorce and not the state. Although this legal document is not appropriate for everyone, we encourage you to consider it if any of the situations below apply to either you or your fiancé.
One of You Has Significantly Greater Financial Assets Than the Other
Perhaps one of you has spent years investing in real estate or the stock market or works as the CEO of a corporation. It is understandable that you would not want to lose half of those assets in a divorce. While Georgia law typically allows people to keep individual assets they had prior to marriage in a divorce settlement, it is subject to several exceptions and asset division can get complicated. Putting it in writing before the marriage will make the process go much smoother should you ever divorce.
It is also important to consider the matter of alimony when one future spouses earns a much higher income than the other. Agreeing on this matter now with help from a prenup lawyer can save thousands of dollars in legal fees later.
Investments and Business Ownership
People who marry later in life often have highly valuable retirement accounts. Without a prenuptial agreement in place, each spouse faces the possibility of giving up half of this asset to the other spouse. The situation can become especially complicated when one of the spouses owns a share of a business because the divorce decree can force him or her to provide business shares to the other spouse. This could put you, and anyone else you share the business with, in a position of trying to run a business with someone who may know nothing about it.
If the two of you have children together, one parent may stay home or only work part-time to focus on raising the children. This can leave him or her in a tough financial position if a divorce occurs, especially in terms of getting back into the workforce with a self-supporting salary. Putting a clause in your prenuptial agreement will determine financial issues beyond child support such as supporting the former spouse until he or she finishes job training. If you have children with another partner, consider putting your wishes for financial inheritance in writing as well.
Work with an Experienced Prenup Lawyer
Daniele Johnson & Associates serves people with family law concerns in Atlanta and the surrounding communities. Please reach out today for a free consultation.