For most engaged couples, the prewedding period is a happy time full of excitement and celebration. It’s also the time to consider the future and make decisions that best protect themselves and each other.
A prenuptial agreement provides both parties with financial protection, not because they expect the marriage to end one day, but because they understand that the future is uncertain, and security is important.
What Does a Prenup Protect?
An established prenup prevents a court from taking your premarital or separate properties and dividing them between you and your spouse in the event of a divorce. The properties specified in the agreement can include:
- Property you owned before the marriage – houses, cars, businesses, bank accounts, etc.
- Property or items gifted only to you before or after the marriage
- Any inheritances bestowed to you
- Any inheritances you have set aside for your children from a previous marriage
Which Is Better, a Prenup or a Postnup?
To answer this question, let’s clarify the difference between prenups and postnups. A prenup is a legal agreement that’s established before marriage, while a postnuptial agreement is created and signed after marriage.
Both a prenup and a postnup can benefit you in case of divorce, but some courts have been known to view a postnup as a suspicious addition to the marriage. If a judge has such an opinion on a postnup, it could ultimately affect their rulings. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue a postnuptial agreement, especially if you choose the right attorney to validate its necessity within the marriage.
Can I Modify a Prenup?
If you have a prenup that requires modifications at any time after marriage, it’s possible to update it with those changes. Simply contact your lawyer, and they will create an addendum to the original agreement.
The most common events that lead to prenup modifications include:
- New business ventures
- Receiving a large inheritance
- Any financial changes
- Having children
Are Both Parties in the Marriage Legally Bound to the Prenup?
Yes, both spouses must agree to the terms and conditions of the prenup before it’s made official. In Georgia, all prenups are put into writing, and they call for at least two witnesses to watch the couple sign the agreement before they sign it themselves.
During the creation process, both couples should list their individual assets and speak with their attorney(s) thoroughly about the agreement before signing. Ideally there should be no confusion on either party’s end before signing.