The Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, more commonly known as a “prenup,” is an agreement entered into by a couple before they get married. The central purpose of forming a prenuptial agreement is to protect each spouse’s property rights in the unfortunate event that the marriage ends in a divorce. Although people think prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and wealthy, more and more couples are entering into these contracts in order to protect their property rights. To help couples decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for them, we have laid out some of the pros and cons of entering into a prenuptial agreement.

Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

Property protection: As stated earlier, the main purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to protect the property of each spouse. Prenuptial agreements define what property each spouse will be entitled to in the event of divorce or separation and will typically list not only the property that each spouse owns, but also their debts. This protects a spouse from having to pay for any debts that their partner may owe and can establish how debts will be distributed between partners.

Inheritance rights: Prenuptial agreements are a great way to protect the inheritance rights of children or grandchildren from a previous marriage.

Business interests: If one spouse owns a business or has her own professional practice, a prenuptial agreement can help to protect that business or practice from being subjected to division, and possible control or involvement of a former spouse.

Save Time and Money: Prenuptial agreements can save couples hundreds or even thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs. By having a valid contract that establishes how   property will be distributed, former couples can avoid future disputes, and resolve    disagreements quickly without a lengthy legal battle.

Drawbacks of a Prenuptial Agreement

Unbalanced: Prenuptial agreements can sometimes be unbalanced. It can be easy to have tunnel vision when you are “head over heels” in love with someone and, unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to a partner agreeing to terms that may not be in her best interest.

Lack of Trust: Let’s be honest, nobody wants to believe that their marriage will end in divorce or separation. Having a partner enter into a prenuptial agreement can promote thoughts of doubt and lack of trust, and may have a negative effect on the beginning of a marriage.

May be Unnecessary: A prenuptial agreement may not be necessary, and in the event that it’s not, the time and money spent to establish the agreement are essentially wasted.

Property Distribution in Illinois

If a couple decides that they do not want to enter into a prenuptial agreement with one another, they will be subject to Illinois’ property distribution laws in the event of a divorce or separation. Illinois is an equitable division state which means spousal property is not divided equally, but in a fair and just manner; this can result in property splits such as 60/40, and even 70/30.

There are many factors that courts look at when deciding how to divide property among former spouses. Some of the factors include: contributions of each spouse to the marital estate; spouses age, health, employability, resources, and economic circumstance’ length of marriage; and any previous obligations for support or maintenance of either spouse.

Contact an Experienced Libertyville Family Law Attorney

If you are interested in learning more about what a prenuptial agreement can offer, or if you’re interested in creating one, contact the Libertyville prenuptial lawyers at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg, LLC, in Libertyville. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in drafting prenuptial agreements and can offer their skills and advice to help get you and your partner just what you’re looking for.  Don’t leave your property rights in open water, contact Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg, LLC, today, and start your marriage off with peace of mind.

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