When discussing marital contracts, one question that often arises is: “Is a postnuptial agreement legally binding?”
The answer is yes, a postnuptial agreement will be legally binding in the state of Georgia, provided it meets certain criteria.
These contracts are recognized under Georgia law and can offer couples a way to dictate the division of assets and debts should their marriage end in divorce.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at postnuptial agreements.
How Long After Marriage Can You Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
There is no specific time limit on when you can get a postnuptial agreement.
It can be entered into at any time after the marriage has taken place.
However, like any legal contract, it must be done willingly by both parties, with full disclosure of all assets and liabilities, and should be fair and equitable to both parties.
Postnuptial Agreement vs Divorce
A postnuptial agreement is not a precursor to divorce.
Instead, it’s a proactive measure that allows couples to establish clear financial boundaries and expectations, which can actually strengthen the marital relationship.
In the case of a divorce, however, a valid postnuptial agreement can streamline the process, as it predetermines the division of assets.
What Cannot be Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?
Certain provisions cannot be included in a postnuptial agreement.
For instance, agreements related to child custody and child support are typically excluded because these are issues of public policy and must be determined by a court based on the best interests of the child.
Similarly, provisions that encourage divorce or are grossly unfair to one party may be deemed unenforceable.
Can You Do a Postnuptial Agreement Without a Lawyer?
While it is technically possible to draft a postnuptial agreement without a lawyer, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel.
A lawyer can ensure that the agreement is legally sound, fair, and enforceable.
Furthermore, having a lawyer can help ensure full disclosure and understanding of the agreement by both parties.
It’s definitely a greater risk of your postnup being thrown out as not legally enforceable if you use a DIY approach.
Additionally, like with prenups, it’s always best practice to have a lawyer draft the agreement, and then your spouse has a separate lawyer they can speak with about any questions or proposed changes to the document prior to signing.
When both parties have attorneys for contracts like postnups, it increases the likelihood that the postnup will be enforceable later on in court, if needed.
Postnuptial Agreement vs Prenuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in its purpose, which is to clearly define the assets and debts of the parties and to allocate resources to each in the event of a divorce or separation.
The main difference is that a prenuptial agreement is entered into before marriage, while a postnuptial agreement is entered into after the marriage has occurred.
Both types of agreements can be legally binding and can cover similar topics, such as property division and alimony.
Postnuptial agreements can indeed be legally binding in Georgia, provided they meet certain criteria.
While they may seem daunting, they can offer couples peace of mind and clarity about their financial future.
However, due to the legal complexities involved, we always recommend that you consult with a local family law attorney who drafts and reviews postnuptial agreements when considering one for your specific case.