Everyone on their wedding day thinks that they will spend the rest of their life with the person they are going to marry. Despite this confidence, many people in Georgia choose to sign a prenuptial agreement to protect them in the event of a divorce. Unfortunately, such an agreement may not be upheld in court if it seems to be unfair or was coerced. One out-of-state judge has recently ruled to uphold one couple's agreement, even though the wife claims she was a victim of fraud.
The couple first met in December 2002 and were married just three weeks later. The woman claims that her then fiance told her his father would cut him off financially if they married without a prenuptial agreement in place. She argues that they both agreed that they would sign the agreement but rip it up after their wedding. She did have her lawyer review the document, but she claims the lawyer did not make an attempt to negotiate because both she and her soon-to-be husband assured him it would not be enforced.
On their honeymoon, she says, both she and her husband ripped up their copies and threw them into the ocean. Twelve years later, they are going through a divorce, and she has requested that the court nullify the agreement after her estranged husband sought to enforce it. The man claims he would have never deceived his father.
A judge has recently declined the woman's request to nullify the agreement. In his ruling, he says that she had sufficient time to review the agreement. Additionally, she had legal representation, and it was her personal choice not to seek her attorney's advice.
Those in Georgia seeking a prenuptial agreement will likely want to ensure that their agreement is actually enforceable during a divorce and that they do not agree to unfair conditions, regardless of what may be orally said at the time. An experienced attorney can help negotiate fair terms of an agreement. Additionally, an attorney with knowledge of state laws can help one contest the terms if coercion was a factor or other criteria was not met, including providing a sufficient amount of time to allow both sides to consider the agreement.
Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "Despite 'whirlwind' romance, no fraud found in Brooklyn prenup, Charisma L. Troiano, Oct. 30, 2014