Family law: Prenups can establish solid foundation

Family law: Prenups can establish solid foundation

17858931_S.jpgSome soon-to-be-married couples in Illinois believe signing a prenuptial agreement is a negative way to start a marriage as it indicates preparation for the worst-case scenario. Although a prenup protects both parties in the event of a divorce, it mainly shows honest, upfront communication that can establish a sound basis for any marriage. Information about these types of agreements can provide peace of mind and is available from family law attorneys.

Considering the high number of marriages that end in divorce, it is much easier to plan and discuss such an eventuality at a time when the parties are in tune with each other rather that when communication has broken down. It is also important to keep in mind that a prenuptial agreement also serves a purpose upon the death of one of the spouses. The contract can specify what will happen to the assets each spouse owned before marriage, and how those accumulated during the marriage will be divided.

Prenups are not only for high-income couples because people in all income groups can have student debt, credit card debt and/or obligations related to prior relationships such as child support. Bringing these into a marriage requires consideration, including how the couple will handle the payment of their debts once they are married. Along with the discussion about debt, a couple can include directives about how they will share the responsibilities of household expenses.

Although disputes about finances lead to many divorces, prenuptial agreements can include more than just money matters. Couples can add directives about children that may be born during the marriage. In fact, almost any issues can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement (except those that are illegal or against public policy), but it is important to secure the services of an experienced family law attorney to assist with drafting it. A skilled Illinois lawyer can ensure that all the legal requirements for such agreements are met to prevent a court from subsequently declaring a prenuptial agreement invalid.

Source:, “Here’s why every couple should get a prenup“, Emmie Martin, Libby Kane, Nov. 15, 2016

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