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Make sure your prenuptial agreement will be there if you need it

A wedding symbolizes the love you and your intended have for each other. For this reason, you want to make sure it's a special and joyous occasion. You intend for the relationship to last forever and plan your wedding and reception accordingly.

Even so, a marriage is also a contract between you and your future spouse. You become legally and financially bound to each other for the duration of your marriage. In light of this, you may decide to enter into a prenuptial agreement in order to protect the separate assets you bring into the marriage in case it doesn't last.

Make sure your prenuptial agreement lasts longer than your marriage

Hopefully, you will never need to use your prenuptial agreement in a divorce proceeding, but if you do, it must meet a Georgia court's standards. This means that it must meet certain standards such as those listed below:

  • You can waive your right to inherit from your spouse and you may waive alimony. However, if doing so puts you at a substantial economic disadvantage compared to your spouse, the court could render the agreement invalid.
  • You must sign your agreement prior to the wedding, but that doesn't mean five minutes before the ceremony. Even just a few days may not meet the time requirement.
  • Each of you deserves the right to have time to thoroughly review, consider and discuss the agreement with an attorney prior to signing it, so you need to allow enough time to fulfill this requirement. 
  • You each must have your own legal counsel to represent your separate interests.
  • Neither of you can feel as though you signed because of pressure from your future spouse, family members or anyone else.
  • Make sure you disclose all information to the other party. Failing to do so is viewed as negatively as providing false information.
  • Each of you must read the agreement in its entirety and understand it as well.
  • Provisions regarding issues such as child custody and child support cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement.
  • The agreement cannot include any provisions that the court deems illegal or invalid. It is possible that the court would simply rule those particular provisions invalid and allow the rest of the agreement to stand, but you cannot count on this happening.

It should be understood that the agreement must be in writing. The court will more than likely not validate an oral prenuptial agreement. Perhaps the most beneficial way to make sure your agreement will stand the test of time is to sit down with an attorney to determine how to best proceed in a manner that complies with the law and protects you in the manner you desire.

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