A group of archaeologists has found what seems to be the world’s oldest known marriage contract. The clay tablet was discovered in Turkey and contains provisions that mention divorce, infertility, and other topics relevant to a marriage. Experts estimate the tablet to be about 4,000 years old, but the contract is remarkably similar to a present-day prenuptial agreement.
According to reports, the tablet lays out a marital contract between a man named Laqipum and his wife Hatala. Among the contract’s terms, there is a provision that delineates what would happen if Hatala could not have children—namely, that she would be required to buy a slave a woman with which her husband could have a child. The contract also specified the details of a possible divorce. If the man chose to divorce his wife, he would be required to pay her a certain sum of money. If a divorce was the wife’s decision, she would pay him the same amount.
The Benefits of Using a Prenuptial Agreement
In today’s world, prenuptial agreements are not unusual. Also called “prenups” or premarital agreements, prenuptial agreements can be used to establish the property rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a divorce. Prenups may prevent one spouse from assuming the other’s debts, detail the fiscal obligations of each spouse, and generally simplify the asset division process if a divorce becomes unavoidable. It is important to note that such agreements, however, cannot address issues of child custody or support, as Illinois law requires those concerns to be addressed only when they become necessary.
While the idea of discussing a potential divorce before the associated divorce even gets started may seem negative and unromantic, the process of developing a prenuptial agreement may offer surprising benefits on its own. Many people are uncomfortable discussing money in general, but negotiating a prenup requires a full disclosure of each party’s financial situation. In doing so, a large number of couples find that they are able to address their concerns appropriately and with unexpected openness. Improved communication can provide a solid foundation on which the rest of the marriage may be based.
We Can Help
If you are considering marriage and have questions about prenuptial agreements, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. We can help you find the answers you need, and we will work with you in drafting a prenup that both meets your needs and protects your rights. Call 630-377-7770 for a free consultation at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. today.