For many Illinois residents planning to tie the knot, it can be uncomfortable to think about a potential divorce. But in a world where lots of marriages end sooner than expected, it may be a good idea for soon-to-be-spouses to have some protection in the form of a prenuptial agreement. The purpose of this type of document is to clearly determine what each party would get or agree to give up in the event that the knot is legally untied at some point.
Without a prenup, property and asset division after a divorce will be determined by the state. While some individuals may hesitate to present an intended life partner with a prenuptial agreement because it suggests a lack of trust, such a document can provide important protections for each party. It's generally advised that couples consider a prenup if one party has more assets than the other.
A prenup can also provide financial security if one spouse earns less than the other. Conversely, if a partner has bad spending habits or a lot of debt, a prenup can protect the other spouse's assets. In the end, they won't be responsible for the other individual's debt. A well-structured prenuptial agreement can also state what will happen with family pets or a business one party may own. Post-divorce financial responsibilities with children a marriage may produce can also be covered in a prenup.
Most couples don't anticipate a divorce going into a marriage. However, advance planning with a prenup could protect assets and provide some degree of financial security for each spouse. An attorney can work with a couple prior to marriage to determine what to include in a prenuptial agreement. A lawyer can also help couples amend or modify a prenup after the wedding.