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Lombard family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements, or prenups, are becoming more common, as they acquire a solid reputation for safeguarding one’s interests and assets. However, they are not cure-alls for marriages. There are some things that simply cannot be addressed in a prenup. It can help avoid disagreements if your prenuptial agreement is crystal clear on what it disposes of and if you do not try to do too much with it.

DO: Distinguish Between Marital and Non-Marital Property

This is arguably the primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement. Illinois law lists it as the second right that couples have in the creation of such a document, and indeed, that is what most are used to accomplish. Dividing one’s property in a prenuptial agreement can save significant time and trouble in divorce court, which can provide a significant boost to post-marital relations.

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Posted on in Family Law

Lombard family law attorneysIn today’s world, more and more couples are drafting and executing prenuptial agreements before they walk the down the aisle. While each couple may have their own reasons for doing so, there are certain cultural trends that have made such agreements more necessary now than perhaps ever before. Research shows that young people are waiting longer to get married, which means that each partner is likely to have accumulated wealth or property prior to marriage, creating the need for financial discussion ahead of time.

Similarly, those who are considering getting married for the second or third time are well served by a prenuptial agreement. In these situations, a prenuptial agreement can be used to secure financial matters and to protect the inheritance rights of children from previous relationships.

Keeping It Reasonable

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prenuptial agreement, lifestyle clause, Illinois family lawyersAs we have recently discussed in greater detail in other posts on this blog, at-fault divorce is now a thing of the past in Illinois. No matter what you think your spouse may have done, a family court will only care about one thing: whether or not irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of your marriage. It has long been the case that marital misconduct cannot be considered by the court in proceedings for spousal maintenance or property division either. The court may, however, recognize a prenuptial agreement between you and your spouse that includes what are commonly known as lifestyle clauses, allowing the behavior of one spouse or the other to still affect divorce proceedings.

Infidelity Clauses

Despite the Illinois law prohibiting divorce on the explicit grounds of adultery, the most common type of lifestyle clause found in many prenuptial agreements provides for a penalty in the event one spouse cheats. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel reportedly have such a clause in their prenuptial agreement, and many other celebrity couples are thought to as well. If such an agreement is seen by the court as reasonable, whatever financial or property-related penalty upon which you have agreed may be enforced. This, howeer,

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inheritance, prenuptial agreement, Illinois Family Law AttorneyWhile many may view prenuptial agreements as necessary only for the rich and famous who stand to lose millions in divorce, the reality is much different. In fact, many marriage and financial experts recommend such agreements for all couples, especially those entering a second or subsequent marriage. In addition to outlining what is to happen with marital property in the event of death or divorce, can also be used to identify your own personal assets prior to marriage and establish a plan for their disposition as well.

Heirlooms and Inheritances

Consider a fairly specific, but not terribly uncommon scenario: For several generations, your family has passed down an item of both physical and sentimental value to the oldest child. This item previously belonged to your father, to his mother before him, and to her father before her. You inherited the asset prior to your marriage and long before you ever had children. Since the heirloom is an inheritance, and since it was acquired before marriage, it is not considered marital property by law. However, a prenuptial agreement can help you solidify the item’s status as personal property, retaining your ability to pass it down to your oldest child regardless of the state of your marriage.

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prenuptial agreement, prenup, Arlington Heights Family LawyerWhen you make the decision to marry someone and share your life with him or her, the romantic love that you feel is often intoxicating. Your idealistic vision of the future make take over, and, as the wedding day gets closer, it may not even occur to you that you are entering into a business partnership as well as a romantic union. Throughout history, however, marriage has been an arrangement of shared property, while the romantic aspect of marriage has really only evolved relatively recently. Modern marriage, as combination of social contract and romantic love has led to the increased utilization of prenuptial agreements to protect the financial interests of each spouse.

For many, the concept of a prenuptial agreement is closely tied to a prediction of failure, as such agreements necessarily consider the possibility of divorce. This is often seen to be in direct contrast to the idea of marrying for love and living "happily ever after." As such, couples frequently struggle with the dilemma of making practical, yet seemingly cold preventive arrangements, or relying on love and trusting that things will be fine.

However, a large number of prenuptial agreements are drafted not only in anticipation of a potential divorce, but also as security in the event of a spouse&s unexpected death. Indeed, providing for your surviving spouse after your death is its own romantic (and responsible) gesture. When considered from this perspective, prenuptial agreements can actually bring harmony to your marriage by settling financial issues and keeping them from creating conflict during your life together and afterward.

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prenup, premarital agreement, Illinois family lawyerThere is nothing on earth quite like the feeling of falling in love. For as long as most people can remember, they have dreamed of the day they would meet "the one" and enjoy a long, happy life together. Social traditions, of course, change over time, and the landscape of a modern marriage has been greatly impacted as a result. Previous generations saw marriage primarily as a starting point from which a young couple was expected to start building a life together. Virtually every life achievement, job promotion, or major purchase was experienced as a couple, and the idea of a prenuptial agreement seemed to have little value in most situations.

Over the last several decades, however, trends show that more Americans are waiting longer than ever to get married, meaning that, as individuals, there is more time to accumulate assets, create business opportunities, and generally establish independent identities. When the time comes for marriage, both partners are bringing more of their lives with them than ever before. For many, establishing a formal arrangement prior to getting married may provide both partners with the security they need to fully commit themselves to the success of the marriage. In this sense, a prenuptial agreement can be more than just an insurance policy against divorce; it can actively contribute to a happy and healthy marriage.

Common Considerations

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retirement age marriageStatistics show that gray divorce – divorce for people who are 50 years old or older – has doubled since 1990. 60 percent who will decide to give marriage a second try will not have any better luck than they did the first time.

Legal and financial advisers say there are steps that older couples can take to help their chances of having a successful marriage the second time around, including communication and a prenuptial agreement.

Especially of concern for people who are close to or already retired are finances. According to some studies, the majority of couples who are engaged fail to discuss their present and future financial situations with each other before they are married. Communication before marriage is essential. This can be especially critical for older people who have been saving all their lives for retirement, only to find out their new spouse has serious financial obligations they knew nothing about.

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social media, divorce, marriage, prenup, prenuptial agreement, premarital agreementWhen people think of prenuptial agreement clauses, what typically comes to mind are items such as property, financial assets and spousal support. However, due to how integral social media has become to our day to day lives, it is becoming more commonplace for couples to add clauses in their prenups regarding social media behavior.

These types of clauses are not just for celebrities or other people in the public spotlight. These types of provisions are for anyone who works in a business where their reputation is critical to success and could lose their job at even a hint of scandal.

Popular social media clauses include not posing any embarrassing or inappropriate photos or videos that could harm the other spouse’s reputation. This could also include what type of comments that a person makes.

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