Two young people who have very little in assets before they get married usually do not have much to lose by putting their assets together. However, the situation may be much more complicated for two people in Illinois who are getting married later in life. In this case, a prenuptial agreement may be helpful, as it can protect one's assets in the event of a divorce in the future.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that explains what will happen to a couple's assets if the couple were to get divorced in the future. With this type of agreement, both parties can identify exactly what their assets were when they got married, which will help them to prove what items they brought into the marriage if they end up getting divorced. A prenuptial agreement is enforceable only if there has been a fair and full disclosure of both parties' liabilities and assets.
When two older individuals enter a marriage with their own sets of assets, they may choose to keep their assets separate in an effort to protect their heirs. This is especially critical for individuals who have been in multiple marriages and have children from previous marriages. Then, they can treat any assets they build together while they are married as joint assets.
For a couple who is going through divorce but lacks a prenuptial agreement, divorce negotiation or mediation is still an option for addressing matters such as asset division and property distribution. If both parties are able to find common ground, they can avoid further court intrusion. Otherwise, they will have to rely on a judge to make these important decisions for them in an Illinois divorce court.
Source: post-gazette.com, "Financial planners: Prenuptial agreements shouldn't be a deal breaker in remarriages", Tim Grant, July 29, 2016