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Determining If You Need a Premarital Agreement

Posted on in Premarital Agreement

Determining If You Need a Premarital AgreementFor all of the work that goes into creating a premarital agreement, you want to feel assured that your effort was worthwhile. Premarital agreements settle the same division of property issues as a divorce, which requires accounting for your individual properties and debts. You may feel uncomfortable discussing the possibility of divorce before you have married. Not every marriage needs a premarital agreement. However, you should weigh the potential benefits of an agreement before dismissing the idea because it is at least worth a discussion.

Financial Protection

A premarital agreement is most useful when the parties own several properties from before their marriage. In the agreement, you can:

  • Differentiate between marital and nonmarital properties; and
  • Determine which marital properties you will receive in case of a divorce.

The agreement will protect your ownership of key assets, such as your business interests and retirement benefits. An agreement can still be useful if you have not accumulated many premarital assets. Your spouse may have premarital debts, such as student loans, which you may share responsibility for during your marriage. A premarital agreement can separate the debts you are each liable for in case of divorce.

Long-Term Planning

Premarital agreements are weakest in predicting the future needs of both parties. You will amass several properties during your marriage that the agreement does not cover, and how you divide those properties can change the balance created in your agreement. The agreement can also establish spousal maintenance payments that assume the comparative incomes of you and your spouse. That section of the agreement may become obsolete if one of you experiences a significant change in your income. It may be more practical to create a postmarital agreement because you will have a clearer understanding of your marital assets.

Uncomfortable Conversation

There is a right time to discuss creating a premarital agreement with your future spouse. You should start the conversation weeks or months before your marriage so that you have time to create and approve the agreement. However, fearing the conversation is a poor reason to reject a premarital agreement. You and your future spouse will have uncomfortable conversations during your marriage. Discussing a premarital agreement can be practice for those conversations.

Creating an Agreement

You may be unsure about what your premarital agreement can and should include, especially if you have not experienced a divorce. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a premarital agreement that will adhere to Illinois law. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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