Tag Archives: prenuptial agreement

Why a Prenuptial Agreement Is Worth the CostThere is a misconception amongst some newlyweds that a prenuptial agreement is not necessary unless you are rich. It is true that a prenuptial agreement is helpful when spouses have substantial assets. Those with fewer assets may believe that creating a prenuptial agreement is unnecessary or not worth the cost. However, you should not discount the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement, even if your premarital assets seem meager. In the event of a divorce, you may be thankful that you took the time to prepare one.

Need

People think of prenuptial agreements as a tool of the rich because they are most likely to hear about prenups in the media when celebrities get divorced. Owning valuable assets is only one reason to create a prenuptial agreement. Others include:

  • Identifying premarital assets;
  • Determining how to divide assets that may grow in value; and
  • Settling potential property disputes while you and your spouse have an amicable relationship.

It is common sense to want to know all of a person’s assets before you marry them. You should be suspicious if they refuse to divulge them. Some assets, such as a business, are likely to become more valuable in the future. If you created and are running the business, you may want to protect your ownership while also acknowledging that your spouse would deserve compensation for the value of your business. You could wait until a divorce to settle issues such as this, but your spouse may be less open to compromise during the divorce.

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The Problems with Lifestyle Clauses in Prenuptial AgreementsBecause of Illinois’ no-fault divorce law, couples can no longer punish each other for acts such as infidelity when filing for divorce. Previously, spouses may have accused each other of immoral behavior in order to avoid paying spousal maintenance or keep a greater share of the marital properties. Now, irreconcilable differences are the only reason that couples can cite for their divorce. Some couples are instead using prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to try to penalize a spouse’s behavior. A lifestyle clause sets rules for a marriage that will result in a financial penalty if either spouse breaks them. However, you should understand the potential problems of lifestyle clauses before you include one in your agreement.

Enforceability

Lifestyle clauses are relatively new, which means that there is little legal precedent for them in courts. The individual opinions of the judge may determine whether a court enforces the clause. Some judges may reject any provision that penalizes a spouse for fault during a divorce. Other judges may allow the clause as long as:

  • The terms of the clause are clear;
  • The clause applies equally to both sides;
  • Both spouses agreed to the clause; and
  • The penalty is fair and does not violate divorce law.

It is important to include a severability clause if you create a lifestyle clause in your agreement. That way, the rest of your agreement remains valid even if the lifestyle clause is unenforceable.

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Learning from Divorce Before RemarryingAfter finishing your divorce, you likely feel that you never want to go through that experience again. Divorce is naturally cumbersome, uncomfortable and depressing. However, many divorcees have not given up on the institution of marriage if they meet the right person. You may feel more cautious about getting married, which is actually a smart approach. Something went wrong in your first marriage, and you want to avoid making the same mistakes. Your divorce should serve as a lesson if you plan to remarry.

Be Patient

The reasons for your failed marriage should give you a better idea of the qualities you are looking for in a partner and what you want to avoid. With this profile in mind, you may feel emboldened to enter a serious relationship with the first person who checks all of those boxes. However, your first marriage taught you that it takes time to learn someone’s true nature. You likely felt that your first spouse was a perfect match before you married. Be more patient in getting to know your partner in a new relationship before entering a commitment.

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What to Consider When Making a Premarital AgreementCreating a premarital agreement is negotiating aspects of your divorce before you get married. If you have been through a divorce before, you remember how complex those negotiations were. If this is your first marriage, the process may seem overwhelming and intimidating. When thinking about your premarital agreement, it helps to remember its purpose. You and your future spouse are determining how your properties would be divided in a theoretical divorce without the animosity of the divorce clouding your judgment. When making a premarital agreement, you should anticipate financial decisions that would need to be made during a divorce.

Premarital Properties

If you divorce, your properties would be classified as either marital or nonmarital. Your marital properties would be divided equitably between the two of you, while you would keep all of your nonmarital property. Distinguishing between marital and nonmarital property becomes more difficult when spouses have been married for several years. The clearest distinction is which properties were purchased before the marriage. Your premarital agreement can identify and protect your nonmarital assets, such as:

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More Millennials Getting Prenuptial AgreementsA recent American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey claims that a growing number of millennials are creating prenuptial agreements before getting married. According to the survey, 51 percent of attorneys are seeing an increase in premarital agreements by millennials, who are generally defined as people born in the 1980s and 1990s. There are numerous ways that a prenuptial agreement can benefit couples during a potential divorce, including:

Prenuptial agreements have grown more popular for couples of all ages in recent years, but researchers are particularly interested by the increase among younger couples. There are several possible reasons why millennials are embracing prenuptial agreements.

Delayed Marriage

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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St. Charles, IL 60174

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Naperville IL 60563

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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