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IL divorce lawyerGetting engaged to be married is an exciting and romantic experience. If you are like many soon-to-be spouses, you may worry that asking your partner for a prenuptial agreement will put a damper on this exciting time in your life. You may even wonder if bringing up the idea of a prenup will make him or her question the engagement.

Prenuptial agreements are massively misunderstood. Fortunately, more and more people are starting to understand the value of prenuptial agreements. Prenups are not only for celebrity couples or the ultra-wealthy. Prenuptial agreements protect both spouses’ rights and financial interests. Drafting a prenuptial agreement is also a great way to discuss crucial financial issues before you get married. The following tips can help you broach the subject in a way that is non-confrontational and low pressure.

Make it a Collaborative Venture

Many fiancé(e)s are offended by the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement because they assume that the documents only benefit one spouse in a marriage. Television shows and movies have painted a very inaccurate picture of what a prenuptial agreement actually is. Prenuptial agreements should always benefit both spouses. In fact, Illinois courts will not uphold a prenup that is “unconscionable” or grossly biased toward one spouse. Make the discussion collaborative. Instead of insisting that your partner signs a ready-made prenup, make an appointment to meet with an attorney together and discuss your questions and concerns.

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naperville prenuptial agreement lawyerThe majority of couples who decide to get married envision a  life together forever. They often imagine having a family, making memories, and growing old together. They may also feel that any discussion about a prenuptial agreement deflates all the romance out of planning their wedding, or they may think that having a prenup means that you do not believe your marriage will last.

The reality is, however, that almost 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. That rate is even higher – 60 percent – for second marriages. And if it is your third marriage, national statistics say you have a 73 percent chance the marriage will fail. Prenuptial agreements can make a significant difference if a couple does end up getting a divorce, saving time and money, and avoiding contentious divorce negotiations.

But We Are Not Rich

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Wheaton prenup attorneyPrenuptial agreements are valuable legal tools that can serve a variety of purposes. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand what a prenuptial agreement is and why a spouse would ever want to sign a “prenup.” Some even believe that signing a prenuptial agreement means that a person thinks their marriage is doomed to fail. Fortunately, the misinformation and myths about prenuptial agreements are slowly being replaced by more educated opinions. Research shows that prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular – especially among younger couples. If you are interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, consider the following tips for bringing up the idea to your partner.

Start Slowly and Do Not Pressure Your Spouse Into an Immediate Answer

If you want to get a prenuptial agreement, but you do not know whether your partner agrees, you may be unsure of how to broach the subject. One tip is to make the conversation as low-pressure and friendly as possible. Pressuring your partner into signing a prenuptial agreement is not only a great way to start an argument, but it may also lead to accusations of coercion, which may cause the document to be invalid.

You may want to start by casually mentioning that you read about how prenups are becoming more popular in recent years. This may be a good way to get your spouse’s opinion on the subject without outright asking for a prenup. You may be surprised to learn that he or she is more open to the idea than you assumed.

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Naperville family law attorneysFor many years, prenuptial agreements were largely considered to be necessary only for the super-rich. Today, however, more and more couples are considering using agreements like these. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than half of family lawyers who responded said that they had seen an increase in requests for prenuptial agreements from the generation known as “millennials” (roughly aged 18-34).

There are a number of reasons why millennials might see fit to use prenuptial agreements, including the fact that they are getting married for the first time at a higher average age compared to previous generations. This means that they generally have more time to accumulate assets, debts, and other obligations before getting married.

If you are soon to be married and you are considering a prenuptial agreement, there are five good reasons why such an agreement might be a good option:

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Naperville prenuptial agreement lawyersMore and more people are beginning to understand the vast benefits a prenuptial or premarital agreement can offer an engaged couple. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, are not just for celebrity couples or the rich. Just as a person who buys car insurance does not intend to get into an accident, signing a prenup does not mean that either party intends for the marriage to end. Prenuptial agreements protect both parties’ property rights in the event that the marriage does end in divorce, but can also provide other benefits aside from those gained during divorce. It is very important, however, that individuals creating a prenuptial agreement abide by the criteria set forth by Illinois law. A prenup that does not meet these criteria can become invalidated and essentially worthless at the time of divorce.

Soon-to-Be-Spouses Must Be Honest About Finances

One of the most essential elements of a valid prenuptial agreement is a full disclosure of property and assets from both parties. Couples must list all of their property and debt as part of the prenup before decisions can be made about how that property and debt should be divided if the marriage ends. If one or both spouses were dishonest in their financial reporting during the creation of the agreement, it is possible that the prenup could be thrown out during divorce.

There Must Not Be Duress, Coercion, or Mental Incapacitation

As with any legal contract, a prenuptial agreement must be entered into voluntarily. If one spouse is forced into signing a prenup or only agrees to the prenup because of an ultimatum, the document may be considered invalid. Couples also cannot be mentally incapacitated at the time of signing. For example, if one spouse had been drinking at the time of agreeing to the prenup, it could be invalidated. Of course, it can sometimes be challenging to prove that an individual was not of sound mind when he or she signed a prenuptial agreement. Illinois does not require parties entering into a prenuptial agreement to retain individual legal counsel, but doing so is highly recommended.

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