Atlanta Division of Debt Attorneys
If you want to create or modify a postnuptial agreement that specifies how you and your spouse will divide your marital debt upon divorce, contact Kessler & Solomiany, LLC immediately. We could provide the legal representation and guidance you need to navigate the complicated process of separating your finances and help secure your financial future.
Many couples draft postnuptial agreements after getting married to determine how to handle things if they get divorced. Although a prenuptial agreement is typical before marriage, you could accomplish many of the same goals with a postnuptial agreement.
Debt is a significant issue in marriages. You might worry about taking on your spouse’s debt if you or your spouse files for divorce. Debt can significantly affect a person’s finances and create various challenges. Discussing how you will divide debt between you and your spouse if the marriage ends is critical. If you don’t have a difficult conversation now, you could face a mountain of bills that weren’t yours when you first married.
At Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, our Atlanta division of debt attorneys focus on protecting the interests of our clients while creating postnuptial agreements. Ensuring you don’t have to pay off the debt your spouse accrued requires proper planning. Although a postnuptial agreement can create tension among couples, drafting one is something you should seriously consider.
Call the Atlanta postnuptial agreement lawyers of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC at (404) 688-8810 today for your initial consultation and learn more about how to preserve your rights while negotiating the division of debt in a postnuptial agreement.
Elements of a Postnuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement. However, it’s a legal document you and your spouse create after entering into marriage. It outlines each person’s ownership of financial assets and obligations in specific circumstances while you’re married. It can also determine how you’ll divide your debts upon divorce.
When you draft a postnuptial agreement, you must communicate with your spouse openly and honestly. It can be a stressful process to go through, but the tension now is well worth it to protect yourself in the future. You should include various elements in the agreement to establish how you will handle the situation if your marriage ends.
It’s important to note that a postnuptial agreement is simply a legal contract to prevent disagreements in the future. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re experiencing problems in your marriage or that either of you believes the marriage will fail.
Many couples decide on the division of assets, alimony, and other necessary details and include these elements in their postnuptial agreements. Additionally, creating a plan of action in case someone dies during the marriage is vital. However, overlooking debt is common in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Some people don’t realize they can be responsible for certain debts even if their spouse is the only person to contribute to the debt.
How to Create a Valid and Enforceable Postnuptial Agreement
An enforceable postnuptial agreement must meet these qualifications:
- In writing
- Signed by both parties
- Signed by at least two witnesses
- Each person entered into the contract willingly and without coercion or duress
- Both spouses had the opportunity to obtain legal representation
Either spouse could challenge the validity of a postnuptial agreement in court. For example, if someone forced you into signing the document, the court might deem the agreement invalid and unenforceable.
Common Types of Debt in a Postnuptial Agreement
Debt falls under two main categories in a marriage – marital debt and separate debt.
Marital debt is all the debt either spouse accumulates during the marriage. Common types of marital debt include:
- Credits cards
- Student loans (in some cases)
- Medical bills
- Auto loans
Even if your spouse was the only one using a credit card, you could become liable for the balance if both of your names are on the account.
Separate debt is debt in only one spouse’s name. Typically, one person acquires it before getting married. Under some circumstances, one spouse could avoid liability for the other’s debt acquired during the marriage. However, many judges will consider it marital debt and require each person to be responsible for paying it.
Determining How to Divide Debt in a Postnuptial Agreement
Like assets, debt can fall under equitable distribution laws. That means debt shared by a couple could be each spouse’s responsibility following a divorce.
Equitable distribution means dividing marital debt fairly. However, it does not necessarily mean debt division will be equal. If you have no postnuptial agreement directing otherwise, the family court judge will determine what they believe is appropriate in dividing debt among the divorcing couple. Even if your spouse accumulated most of the debt, you could be on the hook for paying it off if you earn a significantly higher income than they do.
In Georgia, the courts typically divide debt by reviewing various factors, such as:
- Each spouse’s liabilities or obligations
- How much and whether both people contributed to the debt
- Both party’s income, assets, and ability to pay off the debt
- Reasons for incurring the debt
You could find a way to avoid taking on your spouse’s debt with an iron-clad postnuptial agreement. However, it’s critical to include the correct language and terms in the contract. Any errors you make could prevent you from keeping your and your spouse’s debts separate.
At Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, we have extensive knowledge and experience handling cases involving postnuptial agreements. By planning ahead, you could prevent conflict in the future while dividing your debts if you end up divorcing. We can help you decide on the best terms to include in the contract to protect your finances, interests, and future.
Our Atlanta division of debt attorneys have a reputation for providing quality legal representation and achieving favorable case results. We have received recognition as Rising Stars and Super Lawyers. We also hold an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest honor a lawyer can receive in their area of practice.
Kessler & Solomiany, LLC has fought for the rights of our clients since 1991. Let us be your advocate and assist you in drafting a valid postnuptial agreement. Call us at (404) 688-8810 for an initial and confidential consultation if you want to determine how to divide your debt with your spouse while creating or modifying your postnuptial agreement.