A prenuptial agreement, referred to in Georgia as an “antenuptial agreement,” is a contract entered into prior to marriage that is contingent upon entering into that marriage. It sets out that which is separate property and will remain so.
The prenup discloses both parties’ debts and assets and is meant to clarify and protect each party’s property rights in the event of divorce or death.
Within the prenup, the couple might also address alimony, retirement accounts, attorneys’ fees, how a business or professional practice is managed, and how anticipated inheritances or gifts will be handled.
What cannot be included in a prenup are expectations related to child support or child custody. The prenup may not govern with respect to these issues. The courts govern.
Execution of the prenup
The prenup has to be properly rendered or it may be unenforceable. It’s required that:
- It’s a written agreement.
- It’s entered into voluntarily.
- It’s recommended that both parties are represented by separate attorneys.
- There’s a full disclosure of both parties’ assets and debts.
- There are two witnesses.
- One of the witnesses is a notary and the agreement is notarized.
- The agreement is signed a reasonable time before the marriage.
Not all couples are advised to enter into prenups, in particular young couples with minimal or no assets. The fact of the matter is if their circumstances change significantly, they can enter into a postnup, which is the same sort of exercise, but it takes place after the marriage is entered into.
Indeed, at any point in the marriage couples can execute a postnup to reflect new financial circumstances.
Marriage is an economic partnership, besides being a spiritual union and a love affair. Prenups and postnups are financial tools for the better management thereof.