Impact of Prenuptial Agreements in an Atlanta, GA High-Asset Divorce

High-net-worth couples enjoy many advantages, but their divorces are often more difficult than others. The process of identifying and valuing assets and then negotiating a fair division can be expensive and time-consuming, and lead to bitterness between the spouses.

Many wealthy people enter marriage with contracts that govern the division of property when they divorce. The impact of prenuptial agreements in Atlanta, GA high-asset divorces is substantial. A valid agreement allows for a quicker, less expensive, and more private divorce. Reach out to our trusted attorneys today to learn more.

Enforceable Prenups Must Meet Specific Requirements

The Official Code of Georgia §19-3-62 governs prenuptial agreements (prenups). The law requires that a prenup be a written document. Verbal agreements are not enforceable. It is essential that an experienced Atlanta high-asset divorce attorney draft a prenup and that each party has an independent legal professional review it.

To ensure the agreement will be enforceable, each party must disclose all their assets and debts. Both parties must sign the prenup and it must be witnessed by two people. One of the witnesses must be a notary public. A prenup is signed before the marriage and takes effect when the couple marries.

The prenup can determine what the spouses will consider marital property and what will be their separate property. It can cover how the couple will pay off, assume, and manage debt. The couple can decide in the prenup whether one party will receive alimony if the marriage fails.

Prenups Allow a Different Distribution Than the Law Requires

Georgia law requires divorcing couples to divide their marital property equitably. The law does not require a 50/50 split, but the division should be fair, and in most cases, leave each spouse with substantially similar lifestyles. With a prenup, a couple can deviate from the law and divide property in whatever way they agree, even if the division is one-sided or seems unfair.

What Happens When the Couple Decides on Divorce

The divorce process is much simpler when a couple has a prenup. When neither party challenges it, the spouses use it to divide their property without the need for protracted negotiations.

A couple with substantial assets might need some time to carry out asset division. Depending on what the prenup says, it might be necessary to locate and appraise some property acquired since the marriage. However, the process is generally faster and less contentious than if a couple did not have a prenup.

Importantly, when the couple divides assets according to a prenup the process is private. When a couple must divide their assets through the Georgia courts, private and sensitive information could be available to the public. Both parties should work with capable attorneys to ensure the prenup is enforced properly and fairly when dealing with substantial assets.

Challenging a Prenup

Sometimes one party to a divorce decides to challenge a prenup. Although prenups are generally enforceable, a Georgia family court could invalidate a prenup in some cases.

A judge could refuse to enforce a prenup when one party did not provide an accurate financial disclosure. If the spouse challenging the prenup can prove that they were pressured or coerced to sign, a Georgia court might not uphold the agreement. Additionally, a prenup might be invalid if one party did not have adequate opportunity to have an independent attorney review it before signing.

A court also could set aside a prenup if it is unconscionable, which means shockingly unfair. Prenups often leave one party in a more advantageous financial position than the other, and that is acceptable. However, when enforcing a prenup would leave one party with all the benefits of the marriage at the expense of the other, a Georgia court might decide the agreement cannot be enforced. Our Atlanta attorneys can advise a high net-worth couple on how their prenup may impact their divorce proceedings.

Contact an Atlanta, GA High-Asset Divorce Attorney About the Impact of a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement can have a substantial impact on an Atlanta, GA high-asset divorce. A well-drafted and properly executed prenup can minimize conflict around asset division and greatly speed up the process.

Contact the Atlanta Divorce Law Group if you are divorcing and wonder about the effect of your prenup on your property settlement. Reach out to schedule an appointment with one of our team members today.

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