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Importance of Prenuptial Agreements

Posted on in DIvision of Property

Prenuptial agreements are usually thought of only as something that someone may need if they have a large amount of money and they are marrying someone who does not have much money. And even then, it's almost a slap in the face, saying, "I don't think this marriage will last and when it ends, I'm not going to let you take my money." People think of asking for a prenup as saying, we're going to break up, but let's get married anyway.

They are becoming more and more common nowadays, however, and they cover everything from bank account division to spousal support to real estate.

Marlene Eskind Moses, President of the American Academy of Matrimonal Lawyers, said, "It's not just something for the rich and famous any longer. It's for people that have assets and/or income that they want to protect."

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, about 33 percent of single adults would ask for a prenup. Only about 3 percent of people with spouses or fiancés have them, although that is triple what it was only 10 years ago.

In 2008, the average length of an American marriage was about 18 years, not nearly a lifetime, with a divorce rate of 50 percent, according to government data analyzed by Pew Research Center. That is why many experts suggest having a prenup.

The Harris survey reported that about 15 percent of divorced people regret not having a prenup and 40 percent would ask for one if they were to remarry.

Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone, but they are "absolutely essential if people are getting married for the second time or have children or have wealthy parents," said divorce mediator Mariette Shipley.

Although some experts say yes, absolutely have a prenup and others are a little looser on the topic, all agree that discussing finances is very important. According to Laura Pretrecca from USA Today, before getting married, couples need to discuss any debts, future inheritances and current wealth.

Along with dividing assets from before the marriage and those gained during the marriage, prenups can also outline expected spousal behavior. This may include the use of drugs, intimacy frequency, adultery, weight gain limits, pet rules and housekeeping schedules and/or instructions, according to Eskind Moses.

If you created a prenuptial agreement and are now going through a divorce, with issues arising because of the prenup, or any other reason, contact a divorce attorney for assistance. Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC attorneys will help fight for everything that you deserve in your Wheaton, Ill. divorce case today.

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