Tag Archives: prenup

IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements can be used for a variety of marital reasons, and one of those reasons is for debt protection. The average American has more than $38,000 of debt, and this does not even take into account home mortgages. Millions of Americans are so deep underwater on their mortgages and other loan payments that they are will likely end up being in debt until the day that they die.

Surprisingly, Americans are taking on more debt each and every year, despite knowing the consequences. Credit card debt is now tied with home mortgage debt, followed by student loans and car loans. The later comes as little surprise when the average new car price tag comes in at more than $37,000. The last thing that you want to do when you marry the love of your life is to begin worrying about your spouse’s high debt and financial troubles. After all, financial turmoil is one of the most common stress points in marriage.

Will a Prenuptial Agreement Protect Me from My Spouse’s Debt?

Debt acquired before marriage is not the legal burden of the other spouse. If your soon-to-be-spouse has a $40,000 in student loans, you will not suddenly be responsible for that debt when you marry. Similarly, if your spouse fails to make timely payments on that debt, your credit score will not suffer as a result. However, if you are a co-signer with your spouse onto a credit card or other type of loan, you will be held financially responsible for that debt, even if you end up not doing any of the spending.

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IL divorce lawyerThere is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements only benefit the wealthy. News stories of high profile divorce cases openly discussing existing prenuptial agreements only serve to perpetuate and reinforce this error. While affluent Americans do experience substantial benefits, having the protection of a prenuptial agreement is arguably more valuable to the working class citizens.

Although it is not the most romantic idea, if you have an upcoming marriage, you will want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement, and here is why:

Marriage Is a Legal Agreement

Although the thought of marriage being a legal agreement is a sobering realization, those who understand and appreciate this reality fare better in the unfortunate event of divorce. Before the wedding begins, everyone is confident love that will never end; yet, the United States has a notorious divorce rate of nearly half of all unions. In Illinois, once you are married, everything is owned jointly, from the money you make in your business to the house you buy and everything in between. During a divorce, everything is subject to an equitable marriage division, or as close to 50/50 as possible, unless you have a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise. For some, losing half of their assets is financially devastating.

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Illinois divorce lawyerA prenuptial agreement is a legal contract made by a couple before they get married that outlines how assets will be split in the event that their marriage ends, Often times, couples are hesitant to get a prenuptial agreement because of the negative connotations attached to it. They believe that if they get a prenuptial agreement, they are expecting their marriage to fail.

However, this is far from the truth as the purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to provide spouses with a financial safety net if their marriage does not work out. Although a prenuptial agreement may never be used, it’s a smart decision for couples to get one prior to getting married. Here are five reasons you should get a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be husband or wife:

1. You Are Wealthier Than Your Spouse

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerYou 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.

Everything Premarital

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.

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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, divorce statistics,Many people are familiar with the often-quoted statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce. Multiple studies from the 1970s and 1980s verified that number. However, a recent study suggests a 50 percent divorce rate has not been true for many decades. In fact, new research indicates that nearly 70 percent of all marriages begun in the 1990s reached 15-year anniversaries. Some experts believe these trends will continue, which could result in roughly two-thirds of all marriages remaining intact.

Researchers give multiple reasons for the decline in the national divorce rate. One reason is that, generally, more people are getting married at a later age as opposed to previous generations. Additionally, attitudes towards traditional gender roles have shifted, so more couples share in both monetary contributions and housework. Research also reveals that more couples marry for love instead of marrying due to social or economic pressures. For all of these reasons, it appears that nationwide divorce rates may continue to drop despite a steady rise in the 1970s and 1980s.

While there appear to be fewer divorces now than in previous years, couples should still consider the reality of what happens should their own marriage end in divorce. Like all family law disputes, divorces can be quite contentious due to high emotions and stress. Many divorcing spouses are especially concerned about their financial well-being, and what will happen after the divorce is finalized.

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