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Premarital Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements in Atlanta

In the most contested divorce cases, the biggest contention comes in the process of property division. Especially in high net worth divorces, property division can become increasingly challenging when both parties want to stake claim to various property, assets, cash, stocks, bonds, and other valuable property. There is a way to make this process much easier, and it starts before the couple even gets married.

A prenuptial agreement can help prevent complicated matters involving alimony and property division from occurring in the event of a divorce. However, before you go through the process, there are a few things you should know. Of course, you want to approach prenuptial agreements with care as they could bring a lot of question marks and couples need to know their rights.

What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Do?

A prenuptial agreement is an arrangement made prior to the marriage that helps to separate specific property and assets in the event of a divorce. You may have heard the horror stories from divorced individuals before claiming that their ex-spouse “took half of everything they own.” This can be prevented with a prenuptial agreement.

In the event of a divorce, the courts will look to the existence of a prenuptial agreement when determining property division and alimony. If no prenuptial agreement is present, the court may divide all assets considered marital property. However, with a prenuptial agreement in place, the court will look at the arrangement to determine who gets what.

Typically, the prenuptial agreement lists out items, property, and assets that each party will receive in the event of the divorce. The prenuptial agreement can also make determinations of eligibility for alimony in the event of a divorce.  While prenuptial agreements are the most common protection for property division and alimony protection, there are some situations in which you and your spouse can file a postnuptial agreement after you wed that accomplishes the same thing as a prenuptial agreement.

Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?

While prenuptial agreements can benefit any couple, they're most common in marriages that involve high net worth and plenty of assets. Business owners may consider prenuptial agreements to keep the company and any profits earned from it as separate property, especially if one spouse owned the business prior to the marriage.

One of the most common situations for a prenuptial agreement is one party comes into the marriage with significant property and assets. For instance, if one spouse owns property or multiple assets, they may consider a prenuptial agreement stating that they keep that property, even if upgrades are made during the course of the marriage that may otherwise make it marital property. This is also the case when one party may have a significantly higher income than the other anticipated spouse.  A third common situation where parties find a prenuptial agreement is when one party has children or owned a business prior to the marriage that they want to protect.  

Why Should I Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?

Many think that a prenuptial agreement is only for celebrities or the extremely wealthy, but they may be helpful in deciding how everyday people also divide their assets in a divorce.  A prenuptial agreement can be difficult to even discuss, let alone execute. You and your longtime partner make the decision to get engaged and promise that you'll love each other forever—how can you already discuss the possibility of a divorce? While it may seem like a death sentence to a marriage, it's more about protecting your assets and your family over anything else.  These issues are much easier to decide in a fair manor when everyone still likes each other.  

Considering a prenuptial agreement brings with it numerous benefits:

  • The couple can avoid the long and strenuous process of property division, which in turns saves them money on attorney's fees they'd pay in a divorce.
  • The couple can discuss a fair agreement when they are still happily in love. This prevents any contention to certain assets being divided when emotions are running high.
  • The couple can protect separate property and family inheritances without having to worry about what belongs to who later down the line or risking commingling during the course of the marriage.

Prenuptial agreements are not always just about assets, either. The couple can protect themselves from the other person's debt that they may be bringing into the marriage. For instance, if one party has a significant amount of debt, this could become an issue for his or her spouse in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can outline who this debt belongs to and who is responsible for paying it in the event that the marriage ends in divorce.

Our Atlanta divorce attorneys can work with you to not only start the process of drafting a prenuptial agreement, we can help you enforce it in the event of a divorce. It's our main focus to protect the rights of our clients, and we go above and beyond to ensure all documentation is considered in the event of a divorce, so your assets and property are fully safeguarded.

You can rely on our team at Atlanta Family Law Group LLC. We're caring, compassionate, yet aggressive when necessary for our clients. When you want to protect what's yours, we'll be there to help you draft the necessary documentation that puts you in the most favorable legal position possible. Contact our office today at (404) 963-9452 to discuss how we can help you draft or enforce a prenuptial agreement.

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