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.
Considerations for Remarriages
If you are getting remarried, you may have additional considerations. Are you marrying someone with children? If so, do you plan to legally adopt them? Legal adoption of step children has several emotional and financial benefits. For example, adopting your partner’s children could allow you to put them on your health insurance plan. If the other birth parent is deceased or their parental rights have been terminated due to abandonment, neglect, unfitness, or failure to pay child support, you can give those children the benefit of having two parents again. If the birth parent still has parental rights, you will need to get his or her consent.
Keep in mind that adopting your partner’s children also brings with it certain responsibilities, including the possibility of child support and parental rights concerns if you and your new spouse eventually divorce.
When two people get married, it is not only a symbolic union but also a financial contract. Your assets and property will be combined with that of your new spouse. Discuss any alimony or child support payments required of you with your partner. Also, address any preexisting debts that each of you have as well as bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, or other financial obligations. Decide whose house will become the marital home if you are not currently living together and if you will have joint bank accounts or separate.
We Can Help
Whether you are getting married for the first time or you are blending two previously established families, the experienced Kane County family law attorneys at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. can provide the guidance you need. Call 630-377-7770 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.