With approximately 50 percent of American marriages ending in divorce at some point, marriage can be a risky endeavor. Recognizing this, some future spouses commit to a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle. Should you join them and consider a prenuptial agreement as well?
You may not be able to control whether your marriage succeeds or not, but you can control what happens to your stuff in a divorce. The skilled divorce attorneys at Arami Law in Chicago want to help you understand the benefits of prenuptial agreements in the event of a divorce.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Before you can answer the question, should you consider a prenuptial agreement, you need to be sure you understand what they are. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between a couple before they are legally married. This agreement usually lists the property each person owns as well as their debts going into the marriage. It then pinpoints what each person’s property rights and liabilities will be if the marriage comes to an unexpected end through divorce.
If you do not have a prenup agreement and pursue a divorce, Illinois law will determine who gets what in your divorce. It will also determine who is responsible for any debts the marriage leaves in its wake.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?
It is a myth that only wealthy people need or should consider prenuptial agreements. These contracts are becoming increasingly popular with the middle class to help protect their property in the event of a divorce. You might want to consider one if:
- You want to pass separate property to children you have from previous relationships – without a prenup, your property will likely go to your spouse and not these children
- Either spouse wants to clarify their financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage
- You want to avoid a complex divorce process filled with arguments – as long as your prenup is valid, it will be a binding contract that the judge will adhere to when producing your divorce decree
- You want to receive protection from your spouse’s debts upon divorce
Discussing your desires for a prenup and hiring a family law attorney to help you draft a valid contract can help you not only determine what is best for you but also to execute the agreement without roadblocks when and if the time comes. To be valid, your prenup must be clear, understandable, and legally sound. Each spouse should hire their own lawyer to review it before it is signed, and it must not be signed upon duress.
If upon your divorce, the overseeing judge deems your prenup agreement to be invalid, you will be back to square one and subject to the property division laws in the state of Illinois as if your prenup never existed.
Considering a Prenuptial Agreement? Speak to a Family Law Attorney Today
Every couple about to get married might want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of a prenup and how it can impact their marriage and a potential divorce if one occurs. To learn more about a prenup agreement and your impending marriage, talk to a family law attorney today. Contact us now to schedule your case evaluation at Arami Law.