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prenuptial agreement, St. Charles family law attorneyPrenuptial 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.

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social media, Kane County family lawyersA 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.

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prenuptial agreement, St. Charles family law attorneysA 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

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prenuptial agreement, Kane County family law attorneyWhen 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.

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prenuptial agreement, Kane County family law attorneyIt is hardly uncommon for a couple who is about to get married to spend weeks and months planning a perfect wedding day. Music, flowers, decorations, dresses, food, and dozens of other considerations are often set months in advance. Too often, however, that same couple will spend considerably less time and energy preparing for the marriage itself. Even partners who decide that a prenuptial agreement is appropriate for their situation often wait too long and are then forced to rush one spouse or the other into signing the agreement. Such pressure is not only unhealthy but can also lead to future problems in enforcing the agreement should the need ever arise.

Serious Decisions

Marriage, in the eyes of the law, is a legally binding contract between two consenting individuals that affords each party certain rights and responsibilities. A prenuptial agreement is very similar, in that it represents a contract between two parties, outlining property rights and other considerations to become effective in the event of a divorce or another designated precipitating event, such as infidelity or the death of one party. As such, a binding contract deserves careful consideration, not just casual approval of its terms.

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