Prenuptial Agreements Protect Property Rights
For most couples, a wedding is a culmination of months—if not years—of planning for a day that will mark the beginning of the rest of their life together. With a ceremony, reception, and honeymoon to put together, relatively few give much thought to a prenuptial agreement. However, as thousands of American divorcees would attest, developing such a contract with your soon-to-be spouse can safeguard your personal and financial well-being.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple who are going to get married may create and sign prior to their wedding. The agreement typically specifies details how the couple will split their finances in the event of divorce. This includes the division of marital property, such as the house, bank accounts, and marital debt. If you or your spouse own a business, your agreement could also outline your plan for your interests should divorce become a reality. Prenuptial agreements can also be used for other considerations, such as the payment of spousal support and the payment of attorney's fees in the event of divorce.
Why Should I Consider a Prenup?
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 percent to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. While your relationship may feel like it is on steady ground now, it is impossible to predict what will happen in the future.
Signing a prenuptial agreement can offer you peace of mind because if your marriage does end, you will have an agreed and enforceable plan in place as to how to proceed. Prenuptial agreements can be especially helpful for those considering remarriage. For example, if you are getting married for the second time, you may be bringing concerns related to child support, maintenance, and other considerations into the new union. A prenuptial agreement can specify how each will be handled as part of your upcoming marriage so that expectations can be perfectly clear.
If you are significantly wealthier than your soon-to-be husband or wife, a prenuptial agreement can be used to delineate the portion of your personal assets—if any—to which your spouse may have claim if you divorce. This is particularly helpful for business owners who want to ensure their companies can stay together if the marriage falls apart.
While these are just of a few of the common scenarios that could warrant a prenuptial agreement, there are many others. In addition to the protections afforded by the terms of such agreements, the process of creating the contract itself can have benefits for a couple. Drafting a prenuptial agreement requires full disclosure from both parties. As such, the conversations and negotiations that take place along the way can provide a foundation of openness and trust between you and your future spouse.
If you are considering marriage and have given thought to a prenuptial agreement, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney for guidance. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation at MKFM Law today. We are ready to provide the help you need with creating the long-term security you deserve.