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Illinois couples should consider a prenuptial agreement

Most people have a basic understanding of what prenuptial agreements are and how they can protect people from losing their assets during a divorce. However, there may be more to consider when contemplating whether or not a prenuptial agreement will be a good idea for an engaged couple. For example, not only will a prenup detail how marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce, but it will also determine how any debts will be split. Such debts could involve real estate or business interests that arise during a marriage. A person may also waive spousal support in a prenuptial agreement.

There may also be misconceptions about what can and cannot be established in a prenuptial agreement. For example, child support and child custody issues are not covered. Any clauses related to infidelity would be unenforceable as well.

Many young couples avoid getting a prenup because it can seem as though it will extinguish a relationship's romance. However, it can be argued that a relationship could be strengthened by the knowledge that your life partner is open to discussing issues that may seem boring or emotionally complicated. Older people might be more understanding about getting a prenup, especially if one of the partners has children from a previous marriage. A prenup can help a person have peace of mind and can also be a great estate planning tool.

The process of getting a prenup might take longer than people expect. It's recommended that both spouses obtain counsel. The attorneys will likely need a full disclosure of assets and debts. Getting all this documentation and going through the review process may take some time. Therefore, it's best for a couple to start the prenup process early.

Couples in Illinois might be subject to specific state laws regarding prenuptial agreements as well. If you have any confusion about the process at all, a family law attorney can likely clear up any questions. An attorney can also help make sure you know exactly what you're agreeing to before you sign the documents.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Unpacking Prenuptial Agreements" Caroline Choi, Jan. 31, 2014

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