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You and your betrothed are hearing wedding bells and making plans for a long life of wedded bliss. Marriage is a legal and formal obligation to each other, where two lives become permanently entwined, as do all of their assets, debts, and income. Many consider a prenuptial agreement before signing up to mix everything together. Also known as a premarital agreement or a “prenup,” a prenuptial agreement is not just for the wealthy or those protecting their assets. The agreement also enables a couple to add clarification to economic rights and obligations as well as create a plan for inheritance, especially in situations involving children from previous marriages. It is best to create a plan for these items while everyone is happy and in love, well before anything unfortunate occurs, such as a divorce. If possible, try not to wait until the last minute before tackling this checklist to add to your agreement.
From your debts to your assets, everything you accumulated during your single life needs consideration. After you make the extensive list, you must then determine what to do with them in the event of a divorce. Do they return to separate property or are they included as a part of the marital assets, a true, “what’s mine is your’s” situation? Doing so not only helps you both become aware of the financial standing but also lets you know what to accomplish together and what to work out separately during the marriage.
Anything you accumulate together during the tenure of your marriage is considered marital property. Will you divide it down the center during a split or do you have another arrangement in mind? Without another arrangement, Illinois divides marital property through equitable distribution, 50/50.
Your marriage will gain some financial income, through one or both spouses working, benefits, or investment income. Now is a good time to determine:
What are the intentions for creating income? Are both individuals expected to work? Can someone stay home and raise the family? Will both work from home? How will you handle unemployment or career changes? All of these are important to discuss upfront and have visible in a document, just in case.
Tailor It to You
Although there are pre-formatted prenuptial and postnuptial agreement forms available, remember that just like no individual is exactly like another, neither is a marriage. Therefore, if you would like to add stipulations or remove unnecessary items, you are welcome. If you would like assistance in creating a long-term and lasting premarital agreement, contact a Hinsdale, IL family law attorney today by calling the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. We offer a free consult to answer any questions you may have. All you have to do is call 630-920-8855 today to have your questions answered.