Everything to Know About Prenuptial Agreements in Alton, IL
When a couple falls in love and says, “I do,” the furthest thing from their mind is divorce. However, over 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce, often for complicated reasons that can rarely be foreseen. Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements aren’t legal weapons for wealthy couples to wield during messy divorce proceedings. They are simply contracts between two people that outline the assets and liabilities that each person brings into the marriage, as well as what each person’s rights will be if the marriage ends.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Whether you and your partner should draft a prenuptial agreement is a decision that only the two of you can make. There are many circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement is advisable, such as if one partner is significantly wealthier than the other, if one partner owns a business, if one has a significant amount of debt, or if one partner plans to leave the workforce to raise children. Additionally, if you or your partner have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement will protect their property rights.
What to Include
As with any legally binding agreement, there are strict rules about what can and cannot be include in a prenuptial agreement. Here are some things you may want to consider.
Illinois has specific laws that distinguish between separate and marital property, and without a prenuptial agreement, those are the laws that the court will follow when dividing assets during divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement may outline what property will and will not be considered joint property, ensuring that each party’s personal assets are protected and divided appropriately.
Financial Planning & Debt
A robust prenuptial agreement will address the couple’s spending, investment, and retirement strategies, including what money will be deposited into a joint bank account and what will be kept separate. It may also specify who will be responsible for paying which bills and how much each person will contribute to the household’s finances. If one partner has a significant amount of credit card debt, student loans, or business loans, a prenuptial agreement may be advisable. Regardless of which partner owns the debt, creditors will pursue repayment from either. A prenuptial agreement ensures that the debt-free spouse will not be financially responsible for debt repayment.
Contact Us to Learn More
These are just a few things that should be considered when drafting a prenuptial agreement. Each couple is different and has a unique set of circumstances that will determine what their prenuptial agreement should include. If you live in the Alton, IL region and you’d like to learn more, contact Levo-Donohoo Law today.