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A Prenup in Illinois

 Posted on November 30, 2012 in DIvision of Property

When getting married obtaining a prenup isn't always foremost in a person's mind. No one wants to think about divorce settlements when walking down the aisle, but even if neither party has serious assets it's important for everyone to think about a prenuptial agreement. According to U.S. News and World Report: Money, "because state laws and judges vary, it can be impossible to predict how a court will decide to divide a couple's assets."

Illinois is one of 26 states that has enacted a variation of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), according to the Equality in Marriage Institute. This means that wherever the prenup has been agreed upon, it will be honored in Illinois. This organization stresses that "some people may be hesitant to enter a prenup with their beloved, because they believe it destroys the romance and fantasy of their upcoming marriage." Instead, a prenup gives a couple the opportunity to share their concrete hopes and dreams for the marriage, and allows for a discussion of material expectations. The Equality in Marriage Institute cites that there are several key issues that should be included in the prenup, including but not limited to:

  • a list of all assets, liabilities, income, and expectations of gifts and inheritances
  • an explanation of how premarital debts (such as student loans) will be paid
  • a decision of who will own the marital home or second home upon divorce
  • decide what will happen to each type of secondary property, such as jewelry, real estate, and artwork

In the 1990s, Illinois became a state that honors equitable property distribution, which doesn't mean 50/50 distribution of property post-divorce. If that's something you and your spouse would prefer, that's something that has to be designated in a prenup. Creating a prenuptial agreement is only one of the many complicated processes for couples—and it can be done after marriage. Contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today.

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