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The Benefits and Limitations of a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Naperville family law attorneyThe idea of creating and signing a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” before getting married is an idea which has been gaining popularity in recent years. Although prenuptial agreements have been long associated with frivolous celebrity weddings, the truth is that prenuptial agreements, or premarital agreements, are very valuable legal tools from which any couple can benefit.

How a Prenup Can Help You and Your Fiancé

If you have just gotten engaged, probably the last thing you want to think about is the possibility that your relationship may not last forever. It is true that prenuptial agreements are largely created to protect each spouse’s financial interests in the event the marriage ends in divorce, but that is far from the only benefit prenuptial agreements can offer a new couple. Prenuptial agreements have many purposes including:

  • Outlining the way a family business will be managed and divided if the marriage ends;
  • Defining how retirement benefits, income, and debts will be divided upon divorce;
  • Facilitating a discussion between the new spouses about how household bills and expenses will be managed during the marriage;
  • Arranging how joint bank accounts, credit cards, and savings will be used during the marriage;
  • Planning how one or both spouses will attend higher education or reach other goals such as buying a house; and
  • Explaining how potential disagreements during the marriage will be settled.

When a couple creates a prenuptial agreement, they are not admitting that the marriage is doomed for failure. In fact, couples who have tough conversations about finances and planning for the future are less likely to break up than those who sweep issues under the rug. Disagreements about money are one of the most-reported reasons that married couples divorce. By taking the time to get on the same page about finances before getting married, couples are making a responsible decision which will lessen the chances of disagreements later.

Limitations of Prenuptial Agreements

While there are many ways a prenup can help you and your betrothed prepare for marriage, there are some things which cannot be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. For example, decisions about child support or the allocation of parental responsibilities cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. The courts have the final say on these issues, and they can only be determined if and when they are needed. Courts generally do not consider provisions regarding nonfinancial matters valid in prenuptial agreements either. For example, agreements regarding household chores, vacation plans, or child rearing will generally not be enforceable—at least from a legal perspective.

If you think a prenuptial agreement is right for you and want to learn more, call the knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call 630-352-2240 to set up your confidential consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

https://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html

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