Prenuptial agreements are legally binding documents that establish and protect spouses’ property rights, and they may also address spousal maintenance and other matters. Because many of the provisions in a prenuptial agreement only become effective if a couple divorces, prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are somewhat controversial. However, research shows that the popularity of prenups has been rising, especially among the millennial generation. Prenuptial agreements offer a range of benefits, but they may not be right for every engaged couple.
Rights and Responsibilities Addressed by Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that lists each party’s property and specifies the parties’ property rights in the event that the marriage ends. When a couple sits down to draft a prenuptial agreement, they will need to list all of the assets and debts that they currently own. Many couples find that this inventory process is beneficial in itself because it starts the marriage off with a degree of financial transparency and honesty that is absent in many relationships.
A prenuptial agreement can be used to differentiate between marital and nonmarital property, identify how certain assets should be divided if the marriage ends in divorce, establish which debts belong to which party, address inheritance rights, make decisions about spousal maintenance, and more. By discussing these issues before getting married, engaged couples ensure that they are on the same page with regard to their finances and property. Furthermore, if the couple ends up divorcing, many of the divorce issues that will need to be resolved will already have been decided.
Potential Disadvantages of Signing a Prenup
One of the biggest concerns people have when considering a prenuptial agreement is that legal contracts are not exactly romantic. Many fear that if they ask their future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement before the marriage, he or she will misunderstand the purpose of the document and be offended. Another potential disadvantage is that a prenuptial agreement may contain mistakes and missing information that would make it invalid during divorce proceedings. One way to address both of these concerns is to work with an experienced family law attorney who can explain the benefits of a prenup, help you draft an agreement that best addresses your needs, and ensure that the document meets the criteria necessary to be valid.
Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
While a prenuptial agreement can offer a number of benefits, you should be sure that your prenup is legally valid and that it will provide you with the protection you need if your marriage ends in divorce. If you would like to learn more about prenuptial agreements and discuss whether a prenup is right for you, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Call us today at 630-462-9500 and schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney from our firm.