What Should I Include in My Illinois Prenuptial Agreement?

Over the past few decades, sentiments regarding prenuptial agreements have shifted significantly. Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as “prenups,” have changed from being solely reserved for the wealthy and famous to becoming a legal document that many soon-to-be-married couples consider before tying the knot. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case. With a reduced stigma regarding divorce, many couples are choosing to anticipate this possibility rather than deny that it would ever happen to them. Additionally, many couples are getting married later in life, meaning that they have more finances and properties to lose in the case of a divorce. Prenups may not be for every couple, but it is an important topic to discuss prior to walking down the aisle.

The Prenuptial Possibilities

There are a number of details that you can include in your prenup, and as is the case with every couple, no two prenuptial agreements are the same. Before scheduling a legal meeting with an experienced family law attorney, you should consider what you want to include in your prenup based on your financial situation. The following items are commonly included in prenuptial agreements:

  1. Consider the Animals – For animal lovers, their pet can become a part of their family in a similar way to children. Both spouses likely care for the animal and it may be difficult to part ways with your animal in the case of a divorce. For couples who come into their marriage with a pet in tow, they may consider including details about the pet in the prenup. That way you can decide who will keep the pet or if you will continue to share the animal if you determine that divorce is best further down the road.
  2. Yours, Mine or Ours? – In any relationship, you will both be bringing in your own finances and properties that, upon marriage, become shared marital property. In order to avoid having to share the property that you brought into the marriage in the instance of divorce, you must note it as personal property in your prenup. By stating that your separate property cannot be divided, you will personally own the property, and any increase in value that it may have over the years, even if you do file for divorce.
  3. Dual Debt – No one wants to be responsible for their spouse’s debt, especially if they do decide to get divorced. Many individuals will come into the marriage with impending student loan debt or large credit card bills that still need to be paid. In order to avoid being held liable for your former partner’s debt, you should address this in your prenuptial agreement. While some states may not see you as liable for student loan debt, you could be responsible for any debts incurred by your partner during your marriage.
  4. Gift Giving – It is not uncommon for spouses to give each other pricey gifts as time goes by. With each birthday or anniversary, there could be thousands of dollars invested over the years in gift giving. In the instance of a divorce, these gifts may be considered marital property depending on the court. Including a clause regarding gifts may be a good idea for those signing prenuptial agreements. This can help define what is considered non-marital and marital property, making the property division process easier in the event of a divorce.

Call a Woodstock Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

Formulating a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse can be an uncomfortable and contentious experience. No one wants to imagine what their life would be like in the wake of a divorce; however, it is an important conversation to have, even if it is a difficult one. The best way to build your prenup is with the help of an experienced family lawyer. The accomplished legal team at Prime Law Group, LLC have helped numerous couples create prenuptial agreements, formulating a peace of mind before they enter their marriage. If you are considering signing a prenuptial agreement, contact our experienced McHenry County family law attorneys at 815-338-2040 to schedule a consultation.