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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyIf you are considering getting married in the near future, you should also be considering signing a prenuptial agreement. This is especially important if you have children or any considerable assets such as a small business, real estate, or a savings. A prenuptial agreement is a document that states the terms that you will follow in the event of a divorce. It can also state how your assets are to be divided in the event of your death.

This second reason is the reason why many individuals who have children from previous relationships opt to sign prenuptial agreements – having one in place can help to ensure that your children receive the portion of your assets that you want them to receive. Talk to your fiance about drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement as you move forward with other pre-marriage decisions like whether you will have a religious wedding or a civil one, whether you plan to have children, and where you plan to live. It is important that any engaged couple come to a full understanding about where each partner stands on these “big” decisions before getting married.

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Posted on in Premarital Agreement

b2ap3_thumbnail_prenuptial-agreement.jpgMany people are under the impression that prenuptial agreements are only for celebrities or those who are entering their second and subsequent marriages. The truth is, a prenuptial agreement is an important document for any engaged couple to sign. A prenuptial agreement states the intended ownership of each of the couple's assets as well as the couple's financial decisions, such as whether or not they open a shared savings account or whether either partner may be held responsible for the other's college debt.

Drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement is easy. You and your partner determine the items you would like to include in your prenuptial agreement, then work with an attorney to draft and sign the document. This document does not have to be submitted to the court or otherwise filed with a government authority to be valid.

Topics to Include in a Prenuptial Agreement

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, prenup, Weddings typically involve a lot of planning, even when you forgo a traditional ceremony for a trip to the courthouse. However, before you make too many plans, make sure that you are eligible to marry under Illinois law, and consider a premarital agreement as well.

Here are the requirements for couples looking to marry in Illinois:

  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old;
  • If the parties are 16 or 17 years old they may obtain a marriage license with parental consent;
  • Generally, the parties cannot be blood relatives, but first cousins who are older than 50 may legally marry;
  • The parties cannot already be married to someone else (this includes being in the process of divorce); and
  • If a prior marriage or civil union has ended within the last six months, the party must provide a certified copy of the dissolution, annulment or death record.

Once it is determined that you and your fiancé can get married, you can then apply for a marriage license. Where the application should be filed depends on which county you are getting married in.

Kane County family law attorney, prenups, prenuptial agreements, marriage trends, marital agreement, marriage prenup, postnuptial agreementThe number of couples entering into prenuptial agreements is trending upward in the United States. That trend correlates with consistently high divorce rates and a growing societal acceptance of such agreements. A 2010 poll revealed that 44 percent of single and 49 percent of divorced Americans believe in prenuptial agreements (colloquially known as prenups). Moreover, among the divorced, 15 percent regret not having one.

Acceptance of prenuptial agreements is spreading across cultures. For example, while prenups are not formally recognized in England or Wales, that might soon change. Divorce lawyers in those countries have reported that their clients are increasingly expressing interest in prenups. Furthermore, a government adviser recently recommended introducing a marital agreement form as part of a divorce system overhaul.

How to Execute a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement, prenup, premarital agreement, Illinois family lawyer, marriage“The Other Woman,” an upcoming Hollywood feature about infidelity, stars some of America’s most celebrated celebrities. The film’s cast includes Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann of “This is 40” and “Knocked Up,” supermodel Kate Upton, and pop singer and rapper Nicki Minaj.

In a recent interview promoting the film and discussing its subject matter, Diaz made some controversial comments when she stated, “Everyone has been cheated on, or everyone will be cheated on.” Her remarks were taken by some to be another Hollywood denunciation of monogamous relationships. However, though Diaz has never been married and has no children, she has been involved in long-term relationships before. Now in her 40s, she says she is open to marriage. The comments also spurred discussion about changes in long-term family planning, particularly among women. Compared with past generations, many women today have chosen to start careers rather than settle down and start families. Additionally, advances in medicine have contributed to success with late pregnancies, and it is common today for women to wait until their mid 30s before thinking about having children. Ultimately, this means that many women have amassed more personal wealth and property by the time they get married. In these situations, prenuptial agreements can prove crucial. Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, may be the answer for people who wish to maintain their financial independence but who also want to commit to a partner in marriage. Many people already own real estate and have built significant savings by the time they decide to settle into a marriage. Others, who may be getting married for a second or third time, have now become more established in their finances, and may want to protect what they have earned. For example, when one spouse already owns a home that the new couple will move into, and that spouse wants to dedicate that home to the new family unit, an agreement could be reached where the home is to be considered marital property rather than pre-marital property. It would be divided as such in the case of a divorce. In another instance, if a spouse wants to start a business that he or she will operate independent of the other partner, then an agreement could be reached establishing the business as non-marital property. Thus, in the case of divorce, the other spouse will not be able to claim ownership. Strengthen a Prenup With Professional Legal Advice A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. As with any contract, it can be voided if a court finds duress or undue influence. To ensure enforceability and to make sure you have considered all angles, it is helpful to consult with professionals who regularly deal with contracts and domestic relations. Better planning can lead to a better marriage, or a better life after marriage. Contact family attorneys at Goostree Law Group for such professional advice throughout the Chicago suburbs.
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