A Prenup-The Basics

There’s nothing less romantic than asking your newly betrothed to sign off on an agreement that guarantees he or she won’t run away with your money. While the most well known prenuptial agreements are between celebrities or the very wealthy, “you don’t have to be a Rockefeller or Trump to need a premarital agreement,” according to Bankrate. “A person who has managed to save $30,000 may be more protective of their little nest egg than someone who has millions.” According to Bankrate, there are several instances in which a person would need a prenup, including but not limited to:

  • you own a home, retirement funds, all or part of a business
  • you have children or grandchildren from a previous marriage
  • you have loved ones, such as parents, who’ll need to be taken care of
  • you are pursuing a degree or license in a potentially-lucrative profession
  • one of you will be supporting the other through college
  • you could be receiving an inheritance

Luckily, Illinois is an “equitable distribution state,” according to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, meaning that in the event of a divorce, assets are divided by the court based on what seems fair. There are only nine states in the U.S. that are “community property states,” meaning that any property acquired during the marriage is split evenly. However, equitable distribution doesn’t necessarily mean fair. Without a prenup, sometimes assets you’ve gained during the marriage or property you’ve acquired can end up being passed on to your ex’s children instead of your own, or, according to Bankrate, “they could go to a slothful mate who did nothing while you toiled away at a business or book that eventually became a big success.”

If you’re thinking of marriage and want to learn more about prenuptial agreements and how to draft your own, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today.