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When to Consider a Premarital Agreement

 Posted on December 27, 2012 in DIvision of Property

A prenuptial or premarital agreement is the blueprint to a divorce.  It is essentially a contract between two people who agree how assets and debts will be divided in divorce or death.  Since the unfortunate truth is that one third to one half of marriages end in divorce, it is financially smart to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement just in case.  While there is nothing romantic or cute about talking to a spouse about a prenup, it might be the best financial move available.

There are two kinds of property that divorce courts consider during a split.  Marital property is typically assets and properties that have been accrued during a marriage, like salaries, bonuses, real estate, 401k benefits, etc.  The other kind of property is termed as separate and is for property that was retained before a marriage.  Separate property can also be inheritances that are received during the union.  To decrease the possibility of creating a prenup for no reason, it is important to understand the reasons why people consider them in the first place.

If you meet any of these criterion, you may want to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement:

  1. You are entering into a marriage with assets that need to be secure from divorce, such as inheritances.
  2. If you are entering a subsequent marriage, the maintenance concerns may be different from your first marriage. Your next spouse may require more child support, alimony or other needs that are unlike your previous split.
  3. Debt is another concern that can become your concern when entering any marriage. If your future spouse has a lot of secured or unsecured debt, you should seek protection to make sure they don't become your debts after a divorce.
  4. If you own a small business, you need to protect your partners and employees from a contentious divorce and the subsequent division of property.

A family law attorney will be able to take from their experiences and tell you about general cases were prenuptial agreements are necessary.  If you are considering drafting a prenuptial agreement, they can also make sure all assets are covered and there is no way for future exes to fight a prenup.  Contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County to start considering your options.

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