A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract signed by a couple before their marriage. It serves to clarify the concerns regarding the ownership of their respective assets in case of a divorce. Although quite unromantic, people tend to opt for prenuptial agreements to protect their personal interests, particularly when they possess assets of considerable value. Opting for a prenuptial agreement may affect your relationship as it entails discussing the terms of divorce even before you are married. Many people refuse to discuss a prenuptial agreement as they believe it would reflect their lack in belief and faith in the future of their marriage.
Pre-nuptials – what do they entail?
Prenuptial agreements, often prepared by a family lawyer, can address any matter which the couples wish to clarify and agree upon before they get married. From protecting individual assets to waiving alimony, the prenuptial agreement can include a variety of issues. Some prenuptial agreements include clauses pertaining to child support and custody, but courts are inclined to set them aside as, in the matters of child custody/support, the best interests of the children are taken into account. Primarily, prenuptial agreements mostly pertain to financial matters. Any unfair terms included in the agreement would be easily waived and discarded by the court.
Things to consider before signing a prenuptial agreement
There are some factors you should consider to determine whether you need a prenuptial agreement or not. The first thing to take into consideration is your financial situation. If you possess a considerable amount of assets including monetary, real estate and other valuable properties, it might be in your best interest to get a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage. Doing this will help you keep your assets safe from the division under the default rule in community property jurisdictions.
Although unlike other community property states which follow a 50/50 distribution scale, Illinois follows an equitable distribution system which in case of divorce entails a proportional division of assets. The Illinois Premarital Agreement Act comprehensively addresses all the aspects which can be and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Consulting an experienced local family lawyer would help you understand all the prerequisites of a good prenuptial agreement.
Why should you opt for one?
While the notion of getting a prenuptial agreement might seem unromantic, it is quite a practical thing to do. Rather than considering such an agreement as a lack of trust or faith in your future marriage, a prenuptial agreement should be considered as a necessary evil to evade future complications and conflicts.
For further information or to schedule a free consultation, contact Casement Law Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 to speak with a veteran divorce, family or child custody lawyer on this issue.