Custody Award Despite Postnuptial. Can the court award the custody of a child even if there is an agreement by the parties? The answer is YES – the Court can award custody in the best interest of the child despite what the parties have agreed to.
Here’s the details of the case. The trial court made proper legal and physical custody award where, despite post nuptial agreement reflecting identical arrangement, it performed Substantive Analysis As Required Under G.C.GA. § 19-9-3. In this case, a postnuptial agreement between the parties provided for a certain legal and physical custody arrangement with respect to the parties’ children. Three years later, in the context of a divorce, the trial court entered an order that found that a custody arrangement identical to that set forth in the postnuptial agreement served the parties’ children’s best interests. Because the trial court performed the proper analysis under O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3 to support this award, in light of the family’s then-existing circumstances (and independent of the terms of the postnuptial agreement), the trial court did not abuse its discretion in essentially ratifying the custody arrangement set forth in the postnuptial agreement.
A comment from the court. The Georgia Supreme Court also confirmed that the financial aspects of the postnuptial agreement were enforceable, despite a lack of financial statements being attached to that agreement, in light of 1) the listing of most major assets of the parties in the body of the agreement itself; and 2) the wife’s level of familiarity with the husband’s family business, income, and assets.
Custody Award Despite Postnuptial.. Spurlin v. Spurlin, 289 Ga. 8.8 (20″)