A prenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, or prenup, is a contract that two people enter into before they get married. A prenup can be used to establish the rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a divorce or death. There are many reasons why couples might choose to get a prenup.
A prenup can be a valuable tool for protecting your assets, your children, and your financial future. When considering marriage, it is important to talk to an attorney to discuss your options and to make sure that you understand the terms of a potential prenup.
Reason #1: Protecting Your Assets
Significant assets, such as a business, real estate, or investments, should warrant a prenup consideration. Establishing a prenup can help to avoid conflict and save money on legal fees should a divorce occur. By having a prenup in place, you and your spouse can avoid having to negotiate the division of assets and debts in court that were written into the agreement. Marital assets are still subject to a court-ordered equitable split under most circumstances (see postnuptial agreements).
Reason #2: Children from a Previous Marriage
Children from a previous marriage may need inheritance protections in place in the event of your death or divorce. A prenup can specify that certain assets will pass to your children from your previous marriage, even if your new spouse is still living.
Reason #3: Establishing Financial Expectations
A premarital agreement can be used to establish financial expectations for each spouse. For example, a prenup can specify how income and expenses will be handled during the marriage, and how debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. A prenup can also help prevent one spouse from paying the other’s non-marital debt accrued before marriage. The marital estate, or all property accrued during marriage, may have the right to reimbursement in the event of divorce. This means payments made during a marriage by the non-indebted spouse toward the debt (considered non-marital in a prenup) of the other spouse, can be reimbursed by the other spouse during the division of marital assets.
Should I Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Whether or not a prenup is right for you depends on your individual circumstances. A premarital agreement covers many things that future couples may overlook when entering into a marriage. A premarital agreement brings everything to the table for both parties including income, assets, and liabilities. It is advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in these legal matters, especially if you feel that the other party is failing to provide full disclosure.
Contact a Naperville, IL Family Law Attorney
Questions regarding premarital agreements should be left to an experienced DuPage County, IL prenuptial agreement attorney. Michael Calabrese of [[title]] can provide a 90-minute evaluation of your needs and options and gather all pertinent information regarding your case. Call the office at [[phone]] for an initial discussion at a reasonable fee.