Are There Alternatives to Prenuptial Agreements (Prenups) in Georgia?
For anyone who proposed or accepted an engagement ring and is about to get married, saying or hearing, “Hey, let’s create a prenup!” may sound a little frustrating. A “prenup” refers to a prenuptial agreement, which is designed to protect a future spouse’s property and assets in the event of divorce.
For people seeking to wed, suggesting a prenuptial agreement may sound as if they are already contemplating a divorce. For many, prenups always come with a negative stigma, which is why many couples choose to avoid discussing prenuptial agreements altogether.
But just because you are reluctant to mention anything related to prenups does not mean that you cannot protect your separate assets in the event of divorce. Fortunately, there are alternatives to prenuptial agreements, and some of them do not even require your future husband or wife’s consent or agreement.
4 Alternatives to Prenups in Georgia
If you are looking for ways to shield your separate assets in the event of a divorce, but a prenup is not an option, there are four alternatives to creating a prenuptial agreement.
- A Postnuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is essentially the same as a prenuptial agreement. However, the biggest difference between a prenup and a postnup is that the latter can be created after the couple gets married. If you and your spouse are willing to protect your separate assets in the event of divorce and property division and/or you want to include provisions for alimony, contact an attorney to help you draft a valid postnuptial agreement.
- Safeguard Your Accounts and Funds (Avoid Commingling)
If you have an account or fund that was established and accumulated before the marriage, or if you inherit or are gifted funds during the marriage, keep those funds separate and avoid using them as much as possible. By commingling separate and marital assets, your funds or accounts that were deemed separate before you got married may lose their “separate” status and be subject to an equitable division of property just like your other marital assets.
- Keep Your Real Estate Separate
Even after getting married, make sure that your own separate real estate remains titled only in your name. Also, use only separate funds to pay for the maintenance of your own real estate. If you fail to keep your real estate entirely separate, it may be deemed marital property in the event of divorce despite the fact that you purchased it before the marriage.
- Keep Retirement Accounts Statements
Keep two separate folders for your retirement accounts statements, one for the statements issued before the marriage and the other for after your wedding. Any retirement assets accumulated in the course of the marriage are considered marital property and split between the spouses upon divorce.
However, if you keep statements regarding the retirement assets accrued before the marriage, you can shield them (and interest accrued from the separate portion) from being deemed marital property.
Talk to an Atlanta prenuptial agreement attorney to identify all legal options to protect your separate assets, even if you do not have a prenuptial agreement or do not wish to create one. Contact our attorneys at Buckhead Family Law, to get a case review. Call at 404-600-1403.