Why a Prenup?

Use of Prenups or Premarital Agreements in Illinois is on the rise. Individuals that have been divorced, or have children from previous relationships, or have substantial assets, either a business or family trust or inheritance often consider a prenup. However, young, first time engaged couples, straight and same-sex, are also seeking the protection of a premarital agreement more and more.

A sometimes overlooked benefit of a prenup is simplicity in the event of divorce. Sure, the prenup can protect your assets, income and protect you from the other party’s debts. It can bar your spouse from seeking alimony or maintenance as well, and can prohibit the spouse from inheriting in the event of your death, protecting your estate for the benefit of others. In all instances though, the prenup aims to make divorce simpler, quicker and cheaper.

A well drafted premarital agreement determines your and your spouse’s rights vis a vis each other in the event of divorce or death. In divorce court, the prenup can resolve all or some questions, shortening or eliminating litigation. Of course, the converse is true, in that simplicity is not always the best. If circumstances have changed drastically, perhaps one of the parties is disabled, having forgone maintenance in an Illinois prenup, the disabled spouse is left without support.

A premarital agreement should be considered, but while some eventualities can be factored in, a certain amount of uncertainty either has to be accepted or accounted for. Accounting for uncertainty, may mean leaving open the chance of support or maintenance or other decisions to be made in the event of a divorce if certain conditions are met. These conditions can be a spouse’s disability or great difference in incomes, etc. Of course, the more is left undecided, the less simple the implementation of prenup will be, reducing one of the main benefits of entering into one in the first place.

All the options should be discussed and analyzed with an attorney experienced with premarital agreements and handling divorce cases.

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