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Top Five Biggest Misunderstandings About Prenuptial Agreements

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Naperville family law attorneysIf you and your significant other are considering tying the knot, you may have thought about signing a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup.” A prenup is a legal contract that lists each party’s property and debts and identifies what each party's property rights will be if the marriage ends. Prenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements, have unfortunately gotten a bad reputation due to television and outrageous celebrity weddings. Prenuptial agreements can offer a wide range of protections for spouses and can help a couple better prepare for a happy and successful marriage.

Myth 1: Signing a Prenuptial Agreement Means You Plan to Divorce

Perhaps the biggest reason many couples do not consider signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married is because the document is so closely associated with divorce. While it is true that a prenuptial agreement can be extremely beneficial in the event of divorce, signing a prenuptial agreement in no way means that a couple plans to divorce. Just as buying car insurance does not mean a person plans to get in a wreck, drafting a prenuptial agreement does not mean a couple plans to split up.

Myth 2: Prenuptial Agreements Are Only for the Rich

Traditionally, prenups were used by wealthy individuals who married someone with fewer assets. Today, however, there are many reasons a couple may use a prenuptial agreement. Prenups can be beneficial in keeping property from a previous marriage separate from marital property and clearly defining each spouses’ financial rights and responsibilities. Drafting a prenup can also give couples a valuable head start for future estate planning.

Myth 3: Young People Do Not Need a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenups have long been associated with older, more financially successful couples. However, young couples are increasingly recognizing the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married. According to research done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more and more millennials are utilizing prenuptial agreements to better plan for their future.

Myth 4: A Prenuptial Agreement Can Force a Spouse into Unfair and Unreasonable Promises

Illinois state laws govern what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Provisions describing anything illegal are not allowed. Additionally, prenups cannot make decisions about child custody or support. Lastly, premarital agreements cannot include provisions about personal matters like which spouse will maintain the house or the couple’s marital relations. Provisions which are clearly unfair or unreasonable will not be enforced by the court.  

Myth 5: One Spouse Can Force the Other to Sign a Prenup

Prenuptial agreements are only valid in Illinois if both parties fully understood and consented to the contract. A prenuptial agreement implemented under duress will not be enforced by the courts.

Contact a Naperville, IL Marital Agreement Lawyer

If you would like to learn more about prenuptial agreements or another aspect of family law, contact the experienced Wheaton family law attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call us at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation today.



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