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Planning to marry? Why you should consider a prenuptial agreement

wedding_16.gifWhen planning to marry, Chicago area couples often spend months or even years selecting a location, choosing a photographer and picking out flowers. While a couple's marriage is certainly a good reason to celebrate, some couples fail to fully grasp what comes after the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon.

Couples who own a home, have a stake in a family business or simply want to protect the assets and interests they bring to a marriage; would be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. Should a marriage end in divorce, a prenuptial agreement serves as a guide to help "establish the property and financial rights of each spouse."

While each state has laws related to divorce and the division of property and assets, a prenuptial agreement can be used to explicitly state what each spouse retains, gains or takes on the responsibility for in a divorce. For example, a prenup can explicitly state that each spouse is responsible for the repayment of the student loans or other debts brought to a marriage.

In addition to stating terms related to debt and the division of property and assets; a prenuptial agreement can also be used to define the responsibilities and financial rights of each spouse during a marriage. For example, per a prenup a spouse may be entitled to receive $1 million for every year of marriage.

Maintaining any close relationship is difficult and with shared children, finances, debt and responsibilities; maintaining a good relationship with a spouse can be especially challenging. With the U.S. divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, individuals who plan to marry would be wise to take steps to protect their financial interests.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?," 2014

 

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