Is My Prenuptial Agreement Valid in Georgia?

The Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act has been adopted by many states to provide a set standard for prenups that make them legally enforceable. Unfortunately, Georgia does not follow the Act. Many people have questions about how to make sure their prenup is enforceable and legal.

There are certain regulations that must be followed to make sure your prenuptial agreement is completely above board and legally enforceable in Georgia. 

Making Your Prenup Enforceable

In Georgia, every prenup must be in writing. After each spouse signs the prenup in the presence of at least two witnesses, both witnesses must also sign the agreement. The agreement must then be filed in the clerk of court’s office in the county of residence (for either spouse) within three months of the signing.

In Georgia, one of the requirements for any contract is that all parties have to be competent to sign the agreement. Both spouses signing the prenup have to meet all of the following requirements:

  • Both parties are 17 years of age or older. The minimum age to get married in Georgia is 17 regardless of parental consent. Also, a 17-year-old cannot marry someone more than four years older than they are.
  • Both parties cannot be married to another person. Bigamy is against the law in Georgia.
  • Both parties must be free of serious mental illness or insanity. In other words, they must be competent and able to understand what they are signing.
  • The marriage must not be incestuous. Forbidden marriages in Georgia include parent/child, parent/stepchild, aunt/nephew, uncle/niece, and grandparent/grandchild.

In addition to these requirements, each spouse must also include in the prenup an honest, accurate list of their assets and debts. Since the prenup is a financial contract, it’s important to have a complete understanding of what the financial situation is for both parties before the agreement is finalized.

Georgia law also requires that each party to a prenuptial agreement have the ability to speak to an attorney about the agreement before they sign. You may want to get a prenup signed the day before the wedding, but it won’t be valid unless everyone had the opportunity to consult with an attorney. Note that you don’t have to take advantage of the opportunity — you merely have to be afforded that.

Your Prenup Can Be Thrown Out

There are four ways that your prenuptial agreement can be declared invalid by the court. They are:

  • The agreement is so unfair, the court cannot enforce it.
  • One or both spouses misrepresented their assets or debts or attempted to hide assets, thus making the agreement false.
  • The agreement was obtained by fraud or coercion.
  • The marital circumstances have changed so much that the enforcement of the agreement would now be unfair or unreasonable.

Understand that changes in circumstances or misrepresentations have to be extreme for the court to intervene. In general, it is difficult to get a court to rule that an agreement is unfair. Even if the two parties will have vastly different circumstances following a divorce, it does not mean that the prenuptial agreement was invalid.

Talk To An Attorney

One of the legal requirements before a prenuptial agreement is valid is for all parties to have an opportunity to talk to an attorney. We can’t stress enough the importance of this step. Making sure the language is legally enforceable and that all the financial information is correct can help prevent major headaches down the road.

If you reside in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or are in the Atlanta metro area and need help with a prenuptial agreement, contact Family Matters Law Group for an initial consultation. We are ready to hear your story and help you craft an agreement that protects your assets and your money.