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Getting Cute About Prenups Won’t Fly in Georgia

prenuptial agreements

There is nothing less romantic than a prenuptial agreement – the contract between two lovebirds deciding how they’ll divide assets in the unthinkable event that they divorce. But if you’re going to have that awkward conversation, you might as well do it correctly.

We’ve noticed a lot of cases lately in which one soon-to-be ex-spouse claims the other didn’t fully or fairly disclose their assets before they signed the document. If a judge agrees, the spouse with more assets loses all benefits of the agreement – ultimately protecting certain amounts of money, keeping matters private and saving the time, money and psychic energy of litigation.

In our experience, when a court rules a prenup can’t be enforced, 99% of the time the problem occurred with disclosure. The same thing applies with post-nuptial agreements, which serve the same purpose of prenups but are enacted by couples after they get married.

Georgia law is clear that parties to a pre-or-post-nuptial agreement must identify and disclose their assets; that way the spouses signing away their rights to share in those assets know what they are relinquishing.

Sometimes spouses or their lawyers try to get cute with these agreements and their interpretations, but that won’t cut it in Georgia law. Here are some examples:

The goal of creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is to have an enforceable contract in case of divorce. The risk of losing the protections in this agreement far outweighs any benefit a spouse can get from trying to gain a small advantage now.

Surprisingly, spouses who regret agreeing to a prenuptial agreement were often represented by a lawyer when they signed it, at least nominally. Sometimes the spouse has a family member or friend with legal experience look over the agreement, not a lawyer with experience in family law.

Just as the spouse trying to protect assets should be open and honest, the other spouse needs to take the agreement seriously. Don’t view it as a technicality only lawyers care about.

“I just want to get married” is not the basis of a sound financial decision. You should want to know what assets your spouse is bringing to your relationship.

Michael Hodes is a partner at Boyd, Collar, Nolen, Tuggle & Roddenberry, where he practices family law and focuses on the financial aspects of divorce.

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About The Author

Michael P. Hodes Partner

For over a decade, Michael P. Hodes has exclusively practiced family law, with a specific focus on the financial aspects of divorce, including negotiating and drafting prenuptial, postnuptial and settlement agreements. He works closely with forensic accountants and fiduciary litigators to divide complex assets, trusts and estates of all sizes, and businesses that require valuation. Read More

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