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Prenuptial agreements on the rise

The number of couples using prenuptial agreements is growing, but since no one is required to report it and many people find the subject distasteful or embarrassing, the exact numbers are unknown. Prenuptial agreements carry a stigma and many people think that they are only for the rich who want to protect themselves from gold diggers. However, these marital agreements are a practical tool that could offer Georgia couples security and a chance to discuss important matters regarding finances and property division.

Assets that people bring into a marriage are considered separate property and are not subject to division in the event of a divorce. However, income earned while married, which might include monies from separate assets, could be seen as marital property. Some couples prefer to keep their earnings and assets separate. Georgia has an equitable distribution statue that requires a fair distribution of marital assets, but a prenuptial agreement could classify certain assets as separate and exempt.

Issues regarding the marital home and other big ticket items can be clarified in the agreements as well. A couple might be cohabiting in a property owned by one person before marriage. The prenuptial agreement could decide if the home will remain separate property or become marital property, and it might also state what happens if the home increases in value.

While many couples might benefit from the documents, other individuals may not have such agreements in place. This can make divorce proceedings more contentious. Those involved in such cases might benefit from working with a lawyer. A lawyer who is familiar with family law could help a client protect his or her assets while fulfilling any obligations to a former spouse.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?", Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?", Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

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