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What can I actually include in a premarital agreement?

Creating a prenuptial agreement is becoming an increasingly common legal step for couples to take before getting married. This type of agreement essentially establishes both you and your future spouse's financial rights if you end up dissolving your marriage. It also establishes both parties' property rights.

Couples in Illinois who are about to walk down the aisle often are not thinking about divorce. However, divorce can easily happen if you and your spouse end up wanting to go in different directions in life. For this reason, it is usually wise to consider putting together a premarital agreement.

Property distribution

Wealthy spouses often use premarital agreements to protect their assets although it can be helpful for spouses of all income levels to enter into these types of agreements. Such an agreement can also be useful for protecting a family business.

All states have their own laws regarding what is marital property, also known as community property, versus what is separate property. When you divorce in Illinois, the divorce court will divide your marital property equitably. The existence of a prenup can help to prevent the court's having to decide what will happen to your property.

In the same way that assets can be mentioned in a prenup, you can also address liabilities in this document. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement in place when you get divorced, creditors may pursue your marital property even if just your spouse is actually the debtor.

Responsibilities

Another reason to have a premarital agreement is that you can use it to outline individual responsibilities for you and your spouse. For instance, you can detail how the couple will make contributions to savings as well as who will manage your household bills, expenses and joint bank accounts. You can even spell out how you will manage spending on a credit card and arrangements for investing in various projects or purchases, such as a business or house.

An attorney's help

A prenuptial agreement has the potential to be advantageous for both you and your spouse as it solidifies your marriage's terms before issues crop up. An attorney in Illinois can help you to determine exactly how you want to handle asset division and other important matters in the event of divorce. The attorney can then help you to communicate this effectively in a well-thought-out premarital agreement.

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