Almost every married couple could benefit from considering the legal ramifications of what may happen if their marriage ends in divorce. The simple fact of the matter is that during a divorce, local family courts have great discretion in marriage-related matters and require little input from the participants themselves. This could affect your finances, property rights, and even your right to inheritances and pensions.
A Marietta postnuptial agreements lawyer can help you identify your goals and answer key questions about your needs and best interests. Our team of dedicated family attorneys can then help put those goals into writing and create a valid postnup contract that carries legal weight.
Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements in that they are contracts created by two people addressing various potential or actual marital issues. The main difference is that a prenuptial agreement is signed before the parties are married, while a postnup is created post-marriage.
Post-marital contracts can be used to answer important questions that must be addressed in the case of a divorce. However, the mere presence of an agreement does not necessarily mean the involved parties anticipate a divorce or are even thinking about one.
A divorce impacts every portion of a spouse’s future life. Fortunately, a post-marital agreement could certainly provide them with some measure of control over this matter. When valid, a postnup agreement can provide couples with increased stability in their relationships and help them conscientiously plan for their future. A Marietta lawyer could work with an individual spouse to identify their priorities for the terms of a postnuptial contract.
The most common topic addressed in postnup is what to do concerning the marital property. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means a court would consider all property obtained during a marriage to be jointly owned by both parties.
During a divorce, the court would decide on an equitable — but not necessarily even — distribution of this property. However, a postnuptial contract could state and make binding a couple’s desire for this distribution to proceed differently. Other matters a post-marital contract could help a spouse address include the payment of alimony, the assignment of debt, and how any pensions or life insurance payouts are distributed.
Courts almost always incorporate a valid postnuptial agreement into a divorce decree and are generally hesitant to interfere in the right to contract. As long as the postnup does not contain an illegal clause, or the court does not believe that one party was forced to sign, the parties’ wishes should be respected.
Along with many other life changes, marriage carries legal repercussions and can greatly strain an otherwise happy relationship. Even if people are not actively considering a divorce, a postnup could provide reinforcement to various aspects of a marriage, such as property rights, the ability to retain a home, and complex financial matters.
A Marietta postnuptial agreements lawyer can work with you to outline your desires and protect your best interests during your marriage, as well as offer additional protection should that union end in divorce. Contact our firm today to take a step toward securing your future.