Prenuptial Agreement Georgia – A Prenuptial agreement is contract entered into prior to marriage, which defines the rights of each party in the event of a divorce.
In the past, prenuptial agreement were made to protect family businesses or assets. However, given the recent change in Georgia law as to what defines separate property and the ability to convert separate property into marital property (even unknowingly and or unintentionally) by changing title to an asset, a discussion with a family law attorney about a prenuptial agreement can be an invaluable. A prenuptial agreement can override Georgia Law on property classification and division, and can give helpful guidance before and during the marriage as to the potential ramifications of your actions regarding your property. You should considering discussing a prenuptial agreement with a family law attorney if you face these issues in your pending marriage.
- If there is a disparity in the new worth of the parties.
- If there is a disparity of earning power of the parties.
- A second marriage where there are children or financial obligations to a prior spouse.
- Business owners concerned about having the business involved in a future divorce litigation.
- A party who anticipates receiving an inheritance.
- A party needing protection form a future spouse with a great deal of debt or risky investments; or
- Generally, estate planning.
Some of the areas that a prenuptial agreement may address are:
- Classification of separate and marital property.
- Division of Assets / Debts
- Allocation of financial responsibilities during the marriage.
- Claims of alimony.
If you are considering marriage, and have questions about how a prenuptial agreement Georgia would benefit you or your soon to be spouse, it is important to get advice from a family law attorney in Georgia. A lawyer will discuss your objectives and concerns to see if a prenuptial agreement makes sense for you. For information about a prenuptial agreement Georgia, contact the Remboldt Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-348-4081.
Affirmation of Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreement. Here’s a case example. The parties met in 1978 and began dating in 1989. The Wife became pregnant, and Husband agreed to marry Wife on the condition that the parties enter a prenuptial agreement. Full fi nancial disclosure was made to the wife, even though not in the form of attachments to the prenuptial agreement. The Wife was aware of the Husband’s financial condition, as he owned a telecommunications company, which had a net worth of approximately $4.2 million. The part ies’ estate grew in value to roughly $8 million before the Husband filed for divorce.
The Georgia Supreme Court confirmed enforceability of the prenuptial agreement under the Scherer v. Scherer three-pronged test.
In the Schere r v. Scherer. 249 Ga. 635 (1982) referred to under the Georgia Supreme Court held that when a superior court in this state is presented with an antenuptial agreement in a divorce proceed ing, the trial judge should employ three criteria in determining whether to enforce such an agreement: ( 1) was the agreement obtained through fraud. duress or mistake or through misrepresentation or nondisclosure of material facts? (2) Is the agreement unconscionable? (3) Have the facts and circumstances changed since the agreement was execu ted, so as to make its enforcement unfair and unreasonable.
Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreement. Sides v. Sides, 290 Ga. 68 (2011)
Judgment in parties’ divorce case, affirmed, as trial court did not err in enforcing parties’ prenuptial agreement; evidence supported trial court’s finding that wife received full financial disclosure prior to signing agreement, agreement was not unconscionable, wife knew husband for many years prior to their courtship and was aware of vast disparity between husband’s income as business owner and her own prior to their marriage, and wife did not show that increase in husband’s net worth over their nearly 20-year marriage presented change in circumstance that would make enforcement of agreement unfair and unreasonable; trial court’s decision to enforce prenuptial agreement disposed of all of wife’s counterclaims, which dealt with matters agreement specifically covered.
Sides v. Sides, S11F1140 (11/07/11)
Fulton County Daily Report, November 18, 2011
Judgment awarding wife $160K as her equitable interest in parties’ marital home, AFFIRMED. Trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting aside parties’ antenuptial agreement, since parties did not live together before marriage and husband actively hid fact that he had $150K in cash in his possession when parties signed agreement; Mallen v. Mallen, 280 Ga. 43(2005), did not overrule first prong of three-prong test in Scherer v. Scherer, 249 Ga. 635 (1982), which provides that antenuptial agreements must not be obtained through nondisclosure of material facts.
Blige v. Blige, S07F1817 (01/28/08), 08 FCDR 208
Fulton County Daily Report, 02/08/2008.
GA judgment upholding validity and enforceability of parties’ antenuptial agreement, AFFIRMED, 5-2; agreement was clearly contract made in contemplation of divorce, not contract made in contemplation of marriage, thus, agreement was not subject to OCGA 19-3-63’s dual attestation requirement – agreement addressed alimony and referred explicitly to possibility of divorce; record supported trial court’s finding that there are adequate pre-execution disclosure of husband’s financial statue – parties dated and/or lived together for more than 3.5 years before marriage, wife knew that husband owned professional building where she worked and wife knew that husband had siccessful real estte practice and knew about roughly 95 peson of land he owned when she signed agreement.
Lawrence v. Lawrence, S09A1370 (11/09/09)
From: Fulton County Daily Report (November 20, 2009)
Grant of partial summary judgment to husband in parties’ divorce case, REVERSED, as fact question remained regarding whether husband disclosed his income to wife prior to execution of prenuptial agreement; wife did not have duty to inquire as to husband’s financial situation and insufficient evidence existed for Court to conclude as matter of law that parties’ standard of living prior to marriage put wife on notice that husband failed to disclose material facts so as to render nondisclosure immaterial.
From: Fulton County Daily Report (10/09/09)
Quarles v. Quarles, S09A0928 (09/28/09), 09 FCDR 3046
Attorney: Terry D. Tolbert, Lawrence L. Washburn III
Judges: Valerie Head, Gwinnett Superior Court; Supreme Court of GA, Carley
Denial of wife’s motion for partial summary judgment, REVERSED, in parties’ divorce case, as trial court erred in finding that parties’ antenuptial agreement was enforceable under OCGA 19-3-63 because it was not signed by two attesting witnesses; agreement constituted marriage contract, entered into in consideration of marriage, which must be attested by at least two witnesses, rather than agreement in contemplation of divorce, because agreement waived each spouses’ rights in others property and did not mention either divorce or alimony.
From: Fulton County Daily Report (10/09/09)
Sullivan v. Sullivan, S09A0928 (09/28/09), 09FCDR 3046
Attorneys: Martin L. Fierman, Jeremy A. Moulton
Judges: William A. Prior Jr., Morgan Superior Court; Supreme Court of GA: Carley