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Prenuptial agreements are legal documents which couples can create and sign before getting married. Provisions in the document include directives regarding how property and assets will be divided in the event that the marriage ends in divorce as well as plans for how finances will be handled during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are often misunderstood and there is quite a bit of misinformation circulating the internet regarding these helpful legal tools.
Myth 1: Getting a Prenup is Planning for Divorce
The most commonly held false belief when it comes to any premarital agreement is that only couples who plan to divorce create these arrangements. This is simply not true. Although short-lived celebrity weddings have given prenuptial agreements a bad reputation, many couples benefit from prenups and never end up divorced.
A prenuptial agreement, often called a “prenup” for short, is a legal document which a couple drafts and signs before they get married. The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to set forth directives regarding the spouses’ income and assets in the unfortunate event of divorce, separation, or death. Prenups can contain instructions about marital property and non-marital property, spousal support, inheritance rights of children from previous relationships, each spouse’s debts, and financial rights and responsibilities of both spouses during the marriage.
Making a Living Online
Some couples choose to include clauses in their prenuptial agreement which address the role of social media in a couple’s marriage. At first glance, this may seem like an unnecessary and even ridiculous consideration. Skeptics have even suggested that if a couple needs a social media clause that the relationship is doomed to fail. However, many of these individuals are only thinking of social media as a means to stay in touch with friends. For some people, social media is their job.
This is a special time of year for many of us. Families that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or other winter holidays will gather for special meals, the exchanging of presents, and reunions with old friends. As the holiday season continues, many hopeful romantics will make one of the biggest decisions of their lives as they get engaged to be married. In fact, Christmas day is one of the most popular days of the year for “popping the question.” If you are planning to get engaged this holiday season, firstly, congratulations! As you plan for your wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Alongside your plans for the big day, one decision you and your partner will need to make is if you will draft a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are also called premarital agreements or "prenups.” The purpose of this legal document is to protect the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, planning for a divorce before a couple has even gotten married is not exactly romantic. The topic may be uncomfortable to talk about, but prenuptial agreements are vital to protecting your financial interests and rights. Even if your current relationship is strong and you believe that the marriage will last, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario. Having a prenuptial agreement in place could be invaluable during a divorce. It can simplify property division and spousal support decisions as well as save the couple from tedious negotiations.
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
When you think about prenuptial agreements, you may picture a wealthy, high-profile individual looking to protect his or her assets before he or she gets married. While prenuptial agreements are most definitely useful in providing security for one’s finances in the event of a possible divorce, their power is not completely unlimited. Before you sign a prenuptial, it is important to understand their limitations and to enlist the help of a qualified family law attorney.
A Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Be Too One-Sided
The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act contains provisions regarding powers and limitations of such agreement in the state. There are several potential grounds upon which a prenuptial agreement may be found to be unenforceable, including deception by one spouse or that the agreement was signed under duress or coercion. An agreement will also be set aside if the court finds the terms to be unconscionable.