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Prenuptial agreements are more beneficial for some relationships

Tue 18 Sep, 2018 / by / Divorce

The use of prenuptial agreements has increased in Illinois and throughout the country in recent years as they have become less controversial. More people understand the reasoning behind working out an agreement about property and financial contingencies on the front end of a marriage rather than enduring protracted litigation and additional legal expenses at the end. Contrary to what some believe, having a prenuptial agreement in place doesn’t mean the parties are expecting to end in disaster. Having a prenuptial agreement is more akin to an insurance policy than anything else.

While these agreements are worthy of consideration for all couples, some categories of individuals are more likely to benefit from a prenuptial agreement than others in the event of a marital demise. If one party comes into the relationship with substantially more assets than the other, it is a good idea to think about a prenuptial agreement. Most people fail to consider the possibility of being saddled with a partner’s overwhelming debt, so if one person has a substantial debt load, a prenuptial agreement should be considered. If a party owns his or her own business, having an agreement in place that protects it from litigation and being treated as marital property is strongly recommended.

If one party quits work to focus on child rearing, he or she may get child support until the children are 18 years old. A prenuptial agreement can help clarify responsibilities regarding retraining or maintenance beyond child support. Clarifying ownership and responsibility for pets is another common concern that can be addressed in a prenup.

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, individual state laws apply, but some things are universal. One is that both parties must have a lawyer, and another is that each spouse must fully disclose all assets. Consulting a qualified divorce attorney prior to marriage may make things much smoother if things go south in the relationship.