Most people probably know that prenuptial agreements determine who gets what in the event of a divorce, but many assume that these agreements are only for the wealthy. What you may not know is that a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for couples of any income level who have various financial concerns, and it can provide much needed financial protection for the future.
A prenuptial agreement is a smart choice for many Illinois couples, and it could be a smart choice for you. These are legally binding agreements, and in order for yours to be properly drafted and enforceable, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney.
Important issues to address and questions to ask
Prenuptial agreements are most appropriate for couples with a significant amount of assets to protect or those with a desire to avoid conflict and litigation in the event of a divorce. If these agreements are to be enforceable, they must be fair and reasonable. Before you move ahead with this step, ask the following questions:
- Do you have assets you are bringing into the marriage that you wish to keep in the event of divorce?
- Is there a jointly-owned or family-owned business at stake?
- Will one or both spouses bring a significant amount of debt into the marriage?
- Do you already own a home or do you plan to buy a home with your spouse after getting married?
- Do you have retirement savings and will both spouses contribute to long-term savings accounts?
The answers to these questions will determine if you could benefit from this form of protection. If so, your prenuptial agreement should do following:
- It should outline the distribution of marital property.
- It should include a determination regarding spousal support.
- It should also address the distribution of marital debt.
By working with an attorney from the very beginning of this process, you can be certain of the protection of your interests and the enforceability of your agreement.
The security of your legal and financial needs is an important issue to consider before marriage, and a prenuptial agreement can provide you with needed peace of mind.
Many couples refrain from discussing the benefits of a prenuptial agreement because they believe it is like making a plan for the marriage to fail, but that is simply not the case. Not only can a prenuptial agreement provide you with security for the future, discussing it can help initiate important conversations with your future spouse regarding money management and other related issues.