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What Are the Advantages of Signing a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?

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Plainfield, IL family law attorney prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are often misunderstood. Some people assume that only the rich and famous can benefit from prenuptial agreements. Some even falsely believe that signing a prenup is a sure sign that the marriage will fail. Fortunately, the misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements and other types of marital agreements are slowly being replaced by facts. More and more individuals – especially young people – are choosing to sign prenups before tying the knot. 

Opening Up a Dialogue About Finances Before the Wedding

It is no secret that financial conflicts are common during a marriage. Many married couples report that disagreements about money are the source of most of their arguments. When you create a prenuptial agreement, you and your soon-to-be-spouse will disclose your assets, debts, income, and expenses. You will have the opportunity to discuss how these assets and debts should be managed during the marriage as well as what should happen if a spouse passes away or you get divorced. These discussions are not always pleasant, but being transparent about financial issues before getting married can help prevent future financial concerns from souring an otherwise happy marriage. 

Establishing Each Party’s Property Rights and Protection from Debt

In Illinois, property that is acquired during the marriage is marital property, and property acquired by a spouse before the marriage is considered separate or non-marital property. In a divorce, only marital property is subject to division. However, determining what property is marital and what is non-marital is much harder than it looks. Your prenuptial agreement will allow you to decide what property belongs to an individual spouse and what property belongs to the marital estate. A prenup also allows you to designate which spouse is responsible for which debts. If a party incurred any debt before even meeting his or her future spouse, it is only fair that the party who accumulated the debt is responsible for repayment.

Improving Estate Planning or Divorce Proceedings

The main goal of prenuptial agreements is to determine how divorce issues such as asset division or spousal maintenance should be handled if the marriage ends. Having a prenuptial agreement in place typically makes the divorce process go much smoother. However, a prenup offers many benefits outside of divorce. For example, prenups can be very useful for estate planning purposes – especially if a spouse is on his or her second marriage or has children outside of the marriage. Many individuals use prenuptial agreements to ensure that certain family heirlooms are passed down to children or grandchildren upon their death.

Contact a Joliet, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

Although most couples who get married expect to spend the rest of their lives together, planning for the unknown can help protect your rights. If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or are ready to get started on drafting your prenup, contact a knowledgeable Will County family law attorney from The Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. Call us today at 815-666-1285 to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/destigmatize-prenups-not-just-for-rich-people_l_5f7df979c5b62e45eed528ce
https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&
https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K503

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