Getting married is often considered one of the most romantic times in your life. Talking about what will happen if you divorce for purposes of developing a prenuptial agreement is anything but romantic. However, the practicality of creating a prenuptial agreement will often outweigh the need for romance before a wedding. The trick is to have the discussion and get the prenuptial agreement signed as far in advance of the wedding as possible.
A prenuptial agreement, often referred to simply as a “prenup,” is a document that the couple creates to address certain issues that are likely to come up should the couple separate down the road. It will usually touch on property division, but it can also set out parameters for protection of separate property and spousal support as well. With the exception of child custody and child support, the prenup can also cover any other issue the couple wishes to address.
Unfortunately, prenups have gotten a bad reputation as an “omen for divorce” and other sinister connotations. However, most of the myths surrounding prenuptial agreements simply are not true. We address some of the most common rumors regarding prenups below.
- Those who want a prenuptial agreement really do not want to get married.The truth is, if anyone did not want to get married, he or she likely just wouldn’t. Arranging for a prenuptial agreement just means that you want to protect your assets and make any future separation potentially more cost efficient and straightforward. It is practical! It is far easier to decide what will happen in the event of a divorce while the couple is madly in love than it is when the couple’s feelings have changed to the point that a divorce is imminent.
- Prenuptial agreements are only for the super-wealthy.Any couple can create a prenup. While prenuptial agreements do address financial issues, that does not mean that only the rich can benefit from them. Instead, prenups can actually save the couple money in the future. They have already determined how disputes will be resolved, and they can prevent misunderstandings before they start. In fact, this type of discussion and the resulting document can address problems in the marriage before they happen.
- Prenuptial agreements are unromantic or an omen for divorce.While thinking about ending your marriage before it has even begun is not the most romantic thing you can do, developing this type of agreement can actually strengthen a relationship. Creating this document gives couples an opportunity to meaningfully speak to one another their finances, their wishes for taking care of any children from prior relationships, taking care of each other, and so much more. You can learn a lot about your future spouse and his or her values by creating a prenuptial agreement. Should you end up separating, you will be thankful that you worked out these issues while you were both calm and level-headed.
- Prenuptial agreements are only helpful if the couple gets a divorce.Prenups usually address what will happen if the marriage is terminated by death in addition to the possibility of the marriage terminating due to divorce. It can set out your wishes for your finances and assets, which can be used as a reference in the estate planning context. It can also be used as a means to set out financial expectations during the marriage as well, such as how property will be acquired or how earnings will be spent throughout the relationship. Some prenups even set forth conduct issues. We do not advise that the prenup agreement be the sole estate planning document or that it govern how you will behave during the marriage, but some couples insist upon it.
- Prenuptial agreements are not enforceable.If prepared correctly, prenuptial agreements are routinely upheld by the Courts in Georgia. Nonetheless, there are situations where those contracts are declared invalid or unenforceable, just like any other contract. If you have the agreement prepared by an experienced family law attorney, the attorney should be able to help you make sure the agreement will be enforced.
To find out more about prenuptial agreements in Georgia, give us a call at 404-888-3730.