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DuPage County grey divorce lawyerThe make-up of the American family has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. One of the trends taking place throughout the United States is an increase in the average ages of marrying couples. Both men and women are getting married later in life. In 1960, the average age of first-time brides and grooms was 20 and 22, respectively. Presently, the average ages of first-time brides and grooms are closer to 30. This change has affected family law concerns, including prenuptial agreements and divorce.

Individuals Getting Married Are More Like to Have Significant Assets and Debts

Couples used to get married soon after high school. Modern spouses are much more likely to be in their mid to late twenties. This means that many brides and grooms have a college education, and consequently, student loan debt. Modern spouses are also more likely to own substantial assets, including a home or small business. This is one reason that many family law attorneys are seeing an increase in prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement is a legally enforceable contract that is used to describe spouses’ property rights. The contract may identify certain assets and debts as non-marital and therefore not subject to division during divorce. A prenup or postnup may also describe a spouse’s entitlement to alimony or spousal maintenance.

Divorce May Be Especially Complicated

Because Americans are waiting until they are older to get married, divorce cases often involve intricate financial and personal issues. Divorce involving children and stepchildren can lead to disputes regarding parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support. Divorce involving complicated financial circumstances such as commingled assets, hard-to-value assets like cryptocurrency, and complex investments may also lead to contentious disputes.

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Wheaton family law attorney for prenupsPrenuptial agreements are legally binding documents that establish and protect spouses’ property rights, and they may also address spousal maintenance and other matters. Because many of the provisions in a prenuptial agreement only become effective if a couple divorces, prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are somewhat controversial. However, research shows that the popularity of prenups has been rising, especially among the millennial generation. Prenuptial agreements offer a range of benefits, but they may not be right for every engaged couple.

Rights and Responsibilities Addressed by Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that lists each party’s property and specifies the parties’ property rights in the event that the marriage ends. When a couple sits down to draft a prenuptial agreement, they will need to list all of the assets and debts that they currently own. Many couples find that this inventory process is beneficial in itself because it starts the marriage off with a degree of financial transparency and honesty that is absent in many relationships. 

A prenuptial agreement can be used to differentiate between marital and nonmarital property, identify how certain assets should be divided if the marriage ends in divorce, establish which debts belong to which party, address inheritance rights, make decisions about spousal maintenance, and more. By discussing these issues before getting married, engaged couples ensure that they are on the same page with regard to their finances and property. Furthermore, if the couple ends up divorcing, many of the divorce issues that will need to be resolved will already have been decided.

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Illinois prenuptial agreement lawyersWhen couples are getting ready to tie the knot, they are usually in the midst of a deep love that seems like it could never end. While you should always believe that your marriage will last a lifetime, it is sometimes wise to prepare for the possibility of a separation, down the road. Of course, facing the potentiality of a divorce with your fiance can be difficult, but by planning ahead and signing a prenuptial agreement, you can help ensure that your family will maintain a financially healthy future, even if your marriage ends in a divorce. If you are readying for a marriage, speak with a legal representative to discuss the benefits of developing a prenuptial agreement, prior to your wedding.

Who Should Look Into a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement that is made by potential spouses, prior to their marriage. It is designed to establish how the couple will handle the allocation of resources, distribution of debt, and other financial issues, in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement is officially established once the marriage is finalized. While many people believe that the establishment of a prenuptial agreement is unromantic or pessimistic, there are many scenarios in which a prenuptial agreement can alleviate stress and help the couple avoid future disputes, down the road.

Protecting Your Family: If you have children from a prior marriage, the development of a prenuptial agreement can ensure that your children will have access to their inheritance. While a second marriage can be a new lease on life and a path into a wonderful relationship, it should be noted that 67% of second marriages end in divorce.

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Prenuptial agreements are making a comeback, which means more couples have a clear understanding of their financial obligations in marriage and are better prepared for divorce. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that couples often make when drafting their agreements. Learn how to avoid them with help from the following information.

Avoiding the Topic Altogether

Perhaps the biggest and most common prenuptial agreement mistake that couples make is simply not discussing it. True, it is not a very romantic topic, and it is easy to overlook when you are in love, but many couples end up regretting their decision. Some may even find themselves in complex and contentious situations, should they ever divorce. If you are apprehensive because the topic lacks romance, or you are sure you will not need one, at least be willing to approach and discuss the matter. It could save you from a headache and perhaps even a hefty attorney bill in the years to come.

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Wedding season is officially upon us, and couples are in the final stages of planning. They are getting that last fitting done, perfecting the guest list, double-checking with the caterer - but how many are working on a prenuptial agreement? More importantly, should they? After all, prenuptials are just for couples with millions of dollars . . . right?

Prenuptial Agreements Are Not Just for "Rich" People

Despite the stigma surrounding prenuptial agreements, they are not solely for the excessively wealthy. In fact, any couple can craft and execute a prenuptial agreement, and there are many reasons they might want to. If, for example, they have children from a previous marriage, they may want to ensure that their divorce settlement is set aside for them, should their current marriage end in divorce. Alternatively, if one spouse has a high earning potential - say a promising business or career path - but not a lot of money at the start of their marriage, a prenuptial agreement might be appropriate. Then there are those that simply want to define how money will be spent in their marriage, and how assets will be treated, should they ever divorce.

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