Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of a marital agreement and how they could benefit from such an agreement. In many cases, these agreements help married couples decide thorny issues if they ever separate or divorce. As a result, marital agreements can be useful in resolving problems before they arise. If you are curious about the possible benefits of a marital agreement, get in touch with a Forsyth County marital agreements lawyer from our firm.
We could answer any questions you may have and work with you to draft an agreement that satisfies your needs. If retained, our dedicated family attorneys could be committed to helping you find the legal solutions that are right for your family.
Marital agreements often permit a married couple to decide on various issues, such as property distribution, before any potential separation or divorce. Similar to any other contract, courts generally enforce marital agreements if they are in writing and both spouses voluntarily sign them.
Generally, there are two different types of property involved in a divorce which are marital property and separate property. Courts may divide marital property between the two spouses, but the separate property typically remains the property of whoever owns it when the divorce process is initiated.
Most of the property a couple obtains during their marriage is marital in nature, regardless of who actually paid for it. However, couples may use marital agreements with the guidance of Forsyth County attorney to specifically categorize property as separate property. As a result, these documents may allow couples to distribute their property according to their own wishes.
For example, if a married couple owns multiple residences, they could decide between themselves which individual would get each residence in the event of a divorce. Then, they could use an agreement to assign each residence as the separate property of the agreed-upon party. This type of arrangement could result in a faster and less acrimonious property distribution than a court-ordered distribution.
Additionally, couples may use marital agreements to decide whether alimony or spousal support is appropriate. For example, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-8 explicitly permits couples to agree to spousal support in the event of a voluntary separation. A marital agreements attorney in Forsyth County could provide assistance for couples seeking to decide spousal support issues.
Couples generally must first decide if they believe spousal support is appropriate for either individual. For example, couples may agree that neither individual would be eligible for alimony in the event of a separation or divorce. Such a provision may be appropriate in cases where both individuals have substantial financial reserves and are unlikely to need alimony in the future.
However, if the couple agrees that spousal support is appropriate, they may then use their marital agreement to allocate alimony payments. Depending on the circumstances, they may agree on a specific monthly alimony amount, a lump sum payment, or a specific percentage of income.
If a couple wishes for their agreement to be more flexible, they could decide on a method of calculating alimony rather than a pre-determined amount. Such an agreement may be a good idea if one individual has significantly higher financial resources or greater earning potential than the other.
Marital agreements often benefit married couples by offering them some control over the future. These agreements may help decide complicated issues, such as property distribution, before a separation or divorce occurs, thereby helping many couples avoid future arguments.
A Forsyth County marital agreements lawyer could review the different kinds of provisions you could put in your document. They could also help you and your spouse come to mutual terms on issues such as spousal support or child support. If you want to know more about how an agreement could benefit both you and your spouse, call today to speak with our intake team.