Nobody enters into a marriage thinking they will get divorced, yet most people know that about half of marriages end in divorce anyway. Although you may wish that your relationship will last forever, it is wise to prepare in case of a relationship breakdown. A prenuptial agreement in Illinois is a legally enforceable document that can protect the assets you owned prior to getting married.
Although the idea of having a conversation about a prenup may make some people uncomfortable, this is exactly the kind of discussion you can and should be able to have with your future spouse. Planning for the future will enhance the strength of your future marriage, not detract from it. Here are a few things to consider including in your prenup.
Protect Against Debt
A prenup can protect your individual and marital assets against any debt your spouse accrues by themself over the course of your marriage. This may be a good idea if your future spouse enjoys gambling, or plans on starting a business that will require large loans. A prenup can also protect you from debt that your spouse incurred prior to getting married. In the event of a divorce, the debt remains entirely the responsibility of the spouse to whom it belongs.
Distinguish Between Personal and Marital Assets
Personal assets are the property and finances you own before getting married; marital assets are acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement shows that you were the owner of an asset prior to the marriage and prevents that asset from being split between you and your spouse in the event of a divorce.
Enumerate Spousal Responsibilities
You can actually use your prenuptial agreement to describe which spouse will be responsible for certain expenses during a marriage. You may stipulate that both parties must contribute equal shares of their income to a shared savings account, that one spouse is entirely responsible for their student loans, or that both spouses will share equally in the expenses of caring for either spouse’s ailing parents.
Include a Sunset Clause
Many prenuptial agreements will include a sunset clause, which allows a prenup to expire after a certain number of years. This is usually after quite some time, in order to encourage the longevity of the marriage. Couples may feel that including a sunset clause allows the prenuptial agreement to feel more romantic and less of a bureaucratic endeavor; the assumption with a sunset clause is that the relationship will succeed.
Consult a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, or getting a divorce with a prenuptial agreement already in place, Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you. Our experienced team of DuPage County family law attorneys can help you create a prenup that meets your needs and protects your interests. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 630-871-1002.