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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Protect your assets with a prenuptial agreement

Many brides and grooms may be preparing to get married in Georgia this spring and summer, but they may also want to consider signing a premarital agreement while checking off their wedding to-do list. Getting married is an exciting time in anyone’s life, but many of us also understand that there may be challenges down the road that could put a marriage in question. For some Georgia couples, signing a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial in order to protect each other’s assets and expectations in the case of a divorce.

In the United States, the average age of a first-time bride is 28 and the average age of a first-time groom is 26. This means that many individuals who are marrying for the first time are fairly established in life. Many have already completed their educations and have found stable jobs. Some may have even made investments in properties or other assets.

When couples marry, they tend to share debts and liabilities with each other, giving each other equal ownership. If a couple who is used to combining their finances with each other chooses to divorce, they could face some very complex legal matters regarding money and how to divide assets and debts. Prenuptial agreements help to prevent a divorce from becoming too complicated.

How does a couple go about planning a prenuptial agreement? Individuals should most importantly take their emotions out of the discussion and focus on drafting an agreement at least six months before the wedding so each party involved has enough time to review the contract. Individuals should also get a good understanding of their significant other’s financial picture. Does the other individual have a lot of student loan debt? Does one of them already own a home? Couples can also work with an experienced lawyer in order to get feedback on what is considered separate property or marital property in Georgia.

Premarital agreements can also cover expectations each individual may have regarding their marriage and family life. Does the couple want to make sure that their children are raised under a certain religious affiliation or attend a certain school? Does one of the individual’s expect to receive alimony?

Discussing a prenuptial agreement with a significant other can be awkward, but money eventually becomes part of a marriage commitment. By getting a good understanding of each other’s finances and spending habits before marriage, couples may be able to avoid a heated divorce in the future.


msnbc: “5 tips on planning a prenuptial agreement,” Catherine New, 20 April 2011