Before a marriage can legally come to an end in the state of Georgia, the two parties need to come to some sort of formal understanding as to how the future will look. In some instances, this decision is out of the parties’ hands. If they cannot agree on issues like property distribution and alimony payments, the court will issue a decree that carries the full force of the law.
However, there is a way to get ahead of the curve and plan ahead with a family law attorney’s help so these discussions do not derail and drag out a potential divorce. A Johns Creek prenuptial agreements lawyer can work with you to form a marital contract that carries legal weight, protects your assets and personal property, and even makes arrangements for spousal support payments in case of a future divorce.
In short, a prenuptial agreement is a contract between two parties who are considering marriage. These contracts go into effect the moment the parties sign off on them but have no legal impact unless approved by a family court judge.
The purpose of a pre-martial agreement is to lay the foundation needed to answer the various legal questions that come up in every divorce. As a result, a prenuptial contract is typically used to protect specific assets from being split along what the court considers to be “equitable” lines. Since courts have the authority to distribute marital property as they see fit, a knowledgeable Johns Creek prenup attorney can help you maintain control over what happens to that property.
A prenuptial agreement can also speak concerning other areas in a divorce. It is not uncommon for a pre-marital contract to address whether or not either party may claim alimony, what is to be done with a family business, and who to assign any marital debt to.
Family courts throughout the state of Georgia have broad authority to make decisions concerning the resolution of divorces. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in their ability to divide the assets held in marriage. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that a court will divide property in what it considers to be an “equitable” manner.
However, this rarely results in an exact 50/50 split. Instead, the court examines which property was held by the parties prior to marriage and which property was acquired during the marriage to make this split. Accordingly, who would receive ownership of a home purchased jointly during the marriage falls to the court’s discretion, while a vehicle owned by one party prior to their marriage would typically remain with the purchaser.
Still, a valid prenuptial agreement could render all these questions moot. If engaged couples enter into a valid contract that states one party would keep any home purchased after getting married, the court would generally honor that arrangement.
Few legal proceedings in John Creek carry as much uncertainty as a divorce. Courts have the power to distribute assets and property as they see fit, and often in a way that does not seem fair to either party.
However, you may still retain a level of control over these matters by entering into a prenup while in contemplation of marriage that governs how a court would distribute assets in case of a divorce. In light of this, it may benefit you to consider contacting a Johns Creek prenuptial agreements lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.