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Scherer v. Scherer - 249 Ga. 635, 292 S.E.2d 662 (1982)

Rule:

The Supreme Court of Georgia overrules Reynolds v. Reynolds, 217 Ga. 234 (1961) and holds that antenuptial agreements in contemplation of divorce are not absolutely void as against public policy.

Facts:

The husband and wife entered into an antenuptial agreement prior to their marriage, which concerned shares the husband held in a public traded corporation. The husband was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board. The agreement provided that a sum would be paid to the wife in the event of the termination of the marriage by the husband's death. The agreement also provided that the intent and provisions of the agreement would be considered and applied in the event of termination of marriage other than by death. The husband filed a complaint for divorce, and the wife filed an answer that acknowledged that the marriage was irretrievably broken. A divorce was granted on the pleadings. The trial court found that the antenuptial agreement was enforceable and that the wife had released any rights or interest that resulted from the marriage with respect to proceeds of the shares. The wife sought appellate review.

Issue:

Was the antenuptial agreement in contemplation of divorce void as against public policy?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The court held that antenuptial agreements in contemplation of divorce were not absolutely void as against public policy. The court held that the antenuptial agreement was relevant and admissible at a hearing on alimony or property division issues to determine an equitable division of property.

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