What Financial Disclosures Are Required For a Valid Prenuptial Agreement in Georgia?
Prenuptial agreements can be a great tool to give couples some financial assurance before getting married. A prenup helps to alleviate the uncertainty about what happens in the event of a divorce, and it can provide peace of mind to both parties know what to expect and what they will each be entitled to if things do not work out. Generally, Georgia courts enforce prenuptial agreements as they are written. However, there are some circumstances that can result in a court refusing to enforce a prenup. Most often, that occurs when one party fails to make adequate financial disclosures to the other party as part of the agreement.
To be enforceable, the party seeking to enforce the agreement must show that there has been a full and fair disclosure of assets and income of the parties prior to the execution of the agreement. Georgia courts consider the financial circumstances of the parties at the time of execution of a prenup to be “material facts.” Just like an ordinary contract may be unenforceable by a party’s failure to disclose material facts, a prenuptial agreement may also be rejected on the same basis.
What constitutes a full and adequate disclosure under the law? There is no hard and fast rule, so the best bet is to play it safe. At Buckhead Family Law, we recommend that our clients be as transparent and forthright as possible when executing a prenuptial agreement. Georgia courts have approved prenuptial agreements that contain net worth statements as exhibits, for example. In those statements, the best practice is to ensure that all of a party’s assets, debts, and income (including income generating assets) are listed. For each asset listed, you should provide up-to-date account balances and/or fair market values for the asset. It is also important to identify your debts, and noting where those debts are associated with particular assets, such as a mortgage on a house or a loan on a car. If you are an owner or shareholder of a business, that business should be identified and an approximate value of your interest should be provided.
Another step you can take to reduce the risk of a challenge to the agreement is to provide your asset disclosure to your future spouse far enough ahead of your wedding date to allow them time to investigate your disclosure, if they so choose. For example, they may wish to perform their own valuation of certain assets. If they are not provided time to do so, a court may look more carefully at the adequacy of your disclosure.
There is no silver bullet to enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement ahead of your marriage, the attorneys at Buckhead Family Law are here to assist you in ensuring that the agreement is properly drafted and the financial disclosure are sufficient. The Atlanta prenuptial agreement lawyers at Buckhead Family Law are ready, willing and able to try and assist you with yours. Contact our office today at 404-600-1403 to schedule an appointment.