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Prenuptial Agreements Are Older Than Most Would Imagine

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Naperville family law attorneyArchaeologists recently found the world's oldest known marriage contract in Turkey. The contract, which is inscribed on a clay tablet, mentions infertility and divorce. Experts believe the tablet is approximately 4,000 years old. The tablet is astonishingly similar to a modern-day prenuptial agreement, as it represents a marriage contract between a man named Laqipum and a woman named Hatala.

Among the provisions in the contract is one that specifies what will happen if Hatala is unable to have a child. It says that if this happens that Hatala must buy a slave woman to effectively serve as a surrogate. It also details stipulations in the event of divorce. According to a rough translation of the tablet, If Laqipum chooses to divorce his wife, he must pay her a certain amount of money. Likewise, if Hatala chooses to divorce her husband, she must pay him the same amount.

The Benefits of Using a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements (also called “prenups” or premarital agreements) are a common legal step taken before marriage. A prenup establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce or, sometimes, the death of either spouse. Although they often address uncomfortable topics, prenuptial agreements can be vital in protecting your assets in the event your marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, no one who gets married wants to imagine that it will end, but sadly, many marriages do. Therefore, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario even if your relationship is presently strong.

Prenups can protect one spouse from taking on the debts of the other, protect an individual’s assets or business, specify how property is distributed after a death, simplify property division during divorce, and explain the financial responsibilities of each spouse. Having a prenuptial agreement in place in the event of a divorce can help protect both spouses from tedious negotiations and tension. Furthermore, those who have a prenuptial agreement already established can rest easy knowing that their desires regarding businesses, assets, and property will be fulfilled.

It is important to keep in mind that prenuptial agreements cannot address issues of child custody or child support. These issues are reserved for the time at which they are actually needed, as such decisions must be made in the child’s best interests based on the current circumstances. In addition, child support is considered a right belonging to the child and not to either parent. Thus, a couple cannot make decisions on behalf of a potential child in advance.

We Can Help

If you have questions about prenuptial agreements and how such an agreement could benefit your relationship, contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney. Call 630-352-2240 for a confidential consultation at Pesce Law Group, P.C. today and get the answers you need.


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