Prenuptial agreements are something most couples don’t want to discuss. Many wrongly believe that considering a prenup means you’re already thinking about divorce before the wedding day. However, this just isn’t the case.
Prenuptial agreements serve many useful purposes. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just relevant for those with a significant amount of money or other assets either. Here, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements and clarify what you should know before you say “I do.”
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Simply put, a prenuptial agreement is a written contract. It will specify important assets such as property and debts and specify what is to be done with the same should you divorce.
Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?
If you don’t have a significant amount of property or other assets, you may think a prenuptial agreement is a waste of time. However, you’d be mistaken.
While it’s true that many wealthy individuals get a prenup to protect what was theirs before a marriage, there are other purposes behind a prenup too. Just some of these purposes include:
- Pass property to children from a former marriage – If you have a child from a former marriage and they are to receive property that’s yours, a prenuptial agreement will ensure they receive it. Without a prenup, your spouse will likely be legally entitled to the property.
- Avoid costly litigation in the case of divorce – If you do get divorced, a prenuptial agreement will help settle marital assets that often force cases through costly and lengthy litigation.
- Clarify financial rights and responsibilities – What are you going to pay for during your marriage? What about your future spouse? Clarifying these questions up-front can avoid confusion further down the road.
What Happens Without a Prenuptial Agreement?
Without a prenuptial agreement, you’ll proceed through the divorce process like every other couple does. This means matters like property and debt division along with other issues will be left to your judge to decide if you can’t settle your case before trial.
Unfortunately, this might mean that property isn’t divided as it should be depending on what your judge views as an “equitable division” of your assets. Remember, Illinois isn’t a state where equitable means debts and property is split 50/50. As such, it’s best to protect your interests in a prenuptial agreement rather than leave it for a court to decide.
Get Started With Your Prenuptial Agreement at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.
If you believe a prenuptial agreement might be the best choice for you and your soon-to-be spouse, contact a Naperville divorce lawyer at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. for the assistance and expertise needed. We have handled all matters of family and divorce law for over 35 years and can assist with your prenuptial agreement as well.