Many people do not fully understand what marriage entails from a financial and legal standpoint. Often what is impressed on couples before getting married is how spouses should act towards each other and how to have a successful, long-lasting marriage.
However, in the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract with legal implications. Most important is that after marriage, the spouses will form what is called the “community.” Any income, assets, or debts acquired during the course of the marriage will be considered community property that is owned by both spouses.
Upon divorce, the community will be split equitably between the spouses. The only way to avoid creating community property is for both spouses to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Reasons Couples Sign Prenups
Spouses choose to sign such an agreement for several reasons:
- At least one spouse has children from a prior relationship. Many people would want their children to receive a sufficient inheritance, which may not occur if a community property regime is established.
- Both spouses work. Community property was intended to protect the spouse who stayed home to raise children from being left with no support in the event of divorce. In the present day where both spouses often work, many feel as though the community property regime is outdated and should not apply to them.
- One or both spouses owns a business. A business owned by a spouse could be part of the community. Divorces involving a business can become complicated and interfere with the running of the business. A prenup can establish the business as separate property.
- The spouses have a large differential in assets or debts.
- The parties wish to address spousal support. Spousal support (or alimony) can be set or eliminated in a prenup. Child support and custody arrangements cannot be agreed to in a prenup.
- The parties wish to keep inheritances separate. Typically, inheritances are considered separate property, however, there are ways in which a court may determine that inheritances become community property. To be sure that your ex will not have ownership over your inheritance, a prenup can be used.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney to Draft a Prenup
There are numerous way that a prenup can be invalidated during divorce. Agreeing to a prenup is a major decision, and having an attorney oversee the process will mean that your decision is honored in the years to come.
Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
While signing a prenup agreement will not be the most romantic part of your wedding festivities, many couples believe that these agreements help them in the long run. The knowledgeable DuPage County prenup attorneys at Mulyk, Laho & Mack, LLC can draft a prenup agreement that will be enforceable and that is tailored to your needs. Call (630) 852-1100 to speak to a lawyer today.