Protecting Your Assets: Legal Issues in Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are a common way for couples to protect their assets and responsibilities in the event of a divorce. They are designed to prevent lengthy and expensive court battles over property.
The best way to ensure that you receive the financial protection you need is to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your options. These attorneys can help you make sure that you have a valid prenuptial agreement that is enforceable under Georgia law, so that you and your spouse can move forward with your lives together as smoothly as possible.
Defining Your Assets
One of the first things to consider is which of your assets you want to keep separate. This is especially important if you own a home or other types of property before your marriage. The prenuptial agreement should identify what is separate property and how it will be divided in the event of a divorce.
Your Assets and Debts
You should also think about the debts that you have accumulated in your own name before you married your partner. If you have a large amount of student loan debt, for example, you might wish to ensure that your spouse does not become responsible for it if you divorce. A prenuptial agreement can address this issue by specifying that any debt you accumulate in your new marriage will not be considered marital debt and therefore, not to be distributed to your partner if the relationship ends.
Your Children and Heirlooms
You might also wish to include provisions in your prenuptial agreement to protect your children from a previous marriage or relationship, as well as any inheritances you might leave behind. If you are a rich celebrity, for example, it might be important to make sure that any money left to your children will not go to your ex-spouse when you die.
You may also wish to include provisions in your prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that address the rights and duties of pet ownership. In many cases, this is a contentious issue in the event of a divorce, so it’s best to speak with an attorney about adding these clauses to your prenuptial or post-nuptial arrangement.
If you and your spouse have different views on how to raise your children, you can add lifestyle-specific clauses in your prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements. These can provide incentives or penalties for certain behaviors, such as drug use or infidelity, and they can be enforceable under the laws of your state.
Your Spouse’s Lifestyle and Earning Potential
If one of you is lower on the income spectrum, you might want to include provisions in your prenuptial/post-nuptial agreement that will compensate your partner for their lesser earning ability. These can be enforceable under the law of your state, and they can also help to reduce spousal support payments if you and your spouse ever divorce.
Your Spouse’s Credit History and Debt Level
If your spouse has a poor credit history or is struggling with debt, you might wish to include specific terms in your prenuptial agreement that address this issue. This can be especially helpful if you and your spouse have a shared mortgage or any other type of home loan.