When Mary J. Blige married Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, a prenuptial agreement that waived rights to spousal support was signed by both of them. However, when Blige decided to divorce Isaacs, he still fought for spousal support, and surprisingly, the judge awarded spousal support to Isaacs. The payments rang in at the tune of $30,000 per month, according to People, and Blige is obviously not very happy about it. The court case is a reminder that with proper representation and legal advice, fighting a Georgia prenuptial agreement is possible.
Understanding a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenuptial or a prenup, is a legally binding and signed contract that safeguards the assets of one spouse from the other spouse after a divorce. Prenuptials are not just for wealthy couples, though. In fact, if you were to ask an attorney’s advice prior to getting married, you would most likely be advised to draw up a prenuptial because they help to minimize surprises from popping up, just in case your spouse decides to file for divorce. Typically, a prenuptial agreement can make a divorce simpler and keep the arguments at a minimum. However, sometimes these agreements can be discredited.
Georgia Prenuptial Agreement Law
Prior to 1982, Georgia courts rejected prenuptial agreements because they were considered to contradict public policy. Today, Georgia permits prenuptial agreements because of the decision that the Georgia Supreme Court made during the Scherer v. Scherer case. Essentially, due to the increase of divorces and the introduction of “no-fault” divorces, the Supreme Court said that they could not continue to disallow prenuptial agreements. After all, prenuptial agreements actually made the divorce process easier because the assets have already essentially been divided.
Certain prerequisites need to be met for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid in Georgia. These factors are often referred to in Georgia as “Scherer factors,” or you may also hear that a prenuptial must meet the “Scherer test” to be considered valid. If any of the following are true, you may be able to fight your Georgia prenuptial agreement:
- A party did not sign the agreement voluntarily: Signatures may not be obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, or nondisclosure of material facts, by mistake, or under duress.
- The agreement is unconscionable,
- One party was not provided a reasonable and fair disclosure of the other party’s assets or financial obligations,
- The agreement eliminates spousal support or causes one party financial hardship.
- The facts and circumstances of either party has changed substantially since the signing of the prenuptial agreement, making the agreement unreasonable or unfair.
It can be cumbersome to challenge a prenuptial agreement in Georgia, as the Court typically rules that most agreements are enforceable. Therefore, the coercion involved in order to fight a prenuptial agreement must be extreme and provable.
Contact Us for Legal Advice
If you or someone close to you is involved in a divorce after both parties signed a prenuptial agreement, it is wise to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you. The divorce attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum, can help you with any questions you may have regarding a prenuptial agreement or divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.