Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?
Many people think prenuptial agreements are only for the Donald Trumps of the world. However, there are situations where people with average income and assets could benefit by having an agreement in place.
I’m family law attorney Eileen Thomas. I draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for men and women in the Atlanta metro area and northern Georgia. These agreements define what will happen to your assets in the event of a future divorce. I also advise people who are asked to sign a prenuptial agreement.
If this is your first marriage and you do not own significant assets, you probably don’t need a prenuptial agreement. However, here are examples of times when you may want an agreement.
- If you have children from a prior marriage, a prenuptial agreement can help protect their financial interests.
- If you own a home or other real estate, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that it remains your separate property if you divorce. Otherwise, you may discover that your spouse has acquired an interest in it. For example, many banks won’t refinance property without putting your spouse’s name on the deed. Placing your spouse’s name on the deed would result in making half of the asset a gift to your spouse.
- If you own a business, a prenuptial agreement will ensure that your spouse won’t gain an interest in the business if you divorce.
- If you have high earnings, a prenuptial agreement can determine in advance whether those earnings will be marital property.
Under Georgia equitable division law, what you bring to your marriage is what you bring out — for the most part. However, separate property can become marital property depending on what you do with the property during your marriage. In addition, Georgia law can change. Only a prenuptial agreement can assure that what you want to happen will happen when it comes to division of property in divorce.
To be enforceable, a prenuptial agreement must meet the requirements of Georgia law. Both you and your spouse must be represented by a lawyer.