Atlanta Attorneys for Division of Personal Property in Prenuptial Agreements
You are getting married. Congratulations! Getting a divorce is the last thing on your mind right now. Actually, this is exactly the right time to think about a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” for short. It might seem unfaithful or downright rude to ask your future spouse about a prenup, but it might be the best decision you two make. Not only can a prenuptial agreement provide you with the confidence and surety that your rights, interests, and property will be protected, but a prenup can also save you and your future spouse a great deal of time, money, and heartache, should your relationship end in divorce.
The Atlanta prenuptial attorneys of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC have years of experience in family-related legal matters, including pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, spousal and child support, child custody and visitation, and much more. Drawing on this breadth of family law experience, we can anticipate which issues cause the most disagreement in divorce and plan accordingly. Furthermore, we have represented clients on all sides of the prenuptial agreement – those seeking to enter one, enforce one, or invalidate one. That means we know exactly how to write the agreement to ensure its validity and enforceability.
Planning for a wedding can be hectic and stressful. Let Kessler & Solomiany, LLC worry about the worst-case scenario for your relationship, while you focus on this joyous moment with your soon-to-be spouse. To learn how a prenuptial agreement can protect you and your interests, call Kessler & Solomiany, LLC today at (404) 688-8810 for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement, and Why Do I Need One?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that two people enter before they get married that dictates how a variety of issues will be handled in the event that their relationship ends in divorce. Those issues can include the division of assets, debts, property, what to do about spousal support, etc.
Many people assume that prenups are only for wealthy people. However, prenuptial agreements can help all couples. Disagreements about money are one of the most contentious issues in marriages. Prenuptial agreements can help facilitate a discussion between you and your future spouse about your financial states and financial goals. Such an honest and frank discussion early on can strengthen your relationship against future strife.
Beyond relationship preparation, a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea for you and your future spouse for any of the following reasons:
- One of you enters the marriage with substantial wealth or assets.
- One of you has or will have a higher income than the other.
- One of you has significant debt.
- One of you has an interest in your family’s assets.
- You or your future spouse own a business.
- One of you has children from a previous relationship.
How Can a Prenup Affect Division of Personal Property?
In Georgia, the court typically decides how to distribute marital property in divorce and generally tries to do so in a fair manner. Of course, fairness is a subjective idea. What is considered fair will depend upon the couple, their financial circumstances, the nature of their family, and whether one of them was found to be at fault for the divorce.
With a prenuptial agreement, a couple can determine the division of personal property before their marriage even begins, rather leaving it up to the court to decide this contentious issue in divorce. Prenuptial agreements can address property acquired before the marriage as well as property acquired during the marriage.
For example, Bob and Mary enter a prenuptial agreement that dictates that Bob will retain ownership of a vacation home purchased before their marriage, while Mary gets ownership of whatever primary home they reside in during their marriage. Should they get divorced, Bob will get the vacation home, and Mary will get their primary home, assuming the prenuptial agreement is not invalidated.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement can be found invalid by a court. Here are some scenarios that would invalidate a prenup:
- Duress or coercion: If one spouse can prove that they entered the prenuptial agreement under threat or coercion, the prenup will be invalidated.
- Mental capacity: Similarly, if one spouse can prove that they lacked the mental capacity to enter into the agreement at the time, their prenuptial agreement could be invalidated. Examples of diminished mental capacity could include being under the influence of drugs or in poor mental or physical health.
- Fraud or dishonesty: If one spouse hid financial assets, income, debts, or property, undervalued their assets, or otherwise deceived the other spouse about their financial circumstances, their prenuptial agreement can be invalidated.
- Absurd, grossly unfair, or illegal provisions: If a prenuptial agreement includes problematic provisions, a court could find it invalid. For example, if a prenup allows for one spouse to commit adultery, which is illegal under Georgia law, it can be invalidated.
- Improper legal representation: Both parties to a prenuptial agreement should have their own, independent lawyer. If one spouse was unable to consult a lawyer before agreeing to a prenup or was pressured to use a particular lawyer chosen by the other spouse’s family, their prenuptial agreement could be invalidated.
- Faulty paperwork: Sadly, the simplest thing could invalidate a prenuptial agreement: a mistake. A prenup is a legal document, and legal paperwork can be complicated. Mistakes can easily happen, especially by a careless or inexperienced lawyer.
Why You Should Hire Kessler & Solomiany, LLC
The lawyers at Kessler & Solomiany, LLC are highly experienced, competent practitioners in family law. We have been helping Atlanta couples for years to navigate difficult legal issues in marriages and families – from “I do” to divorce. We have drafted, enforced, and invalidated many prenuptial agreements, so we know the proper way to write an agreement to ensure it protects you and your interests. If you are getting married, call Kessler & Solomiany, LLC today at (404) 688-8810 to learn more about the benefits of a properly executed prenuptial agreement.