If you are asking yourself that question, then you probably should. In Illinois, a couple who is contemplating marriage can enter into a written contract that controls how certain assets and financial issues will be addressed in the event of a divorce or death of a spouse. This contract is called a premarital agreement or prenuptial agreement. One benefit is the couple will discuss financial issues in the marriage prior to walking down the aisle.
Certain circumstances make prenuptial agreements more desirable and advisable for a couple:
Self-employment. If one of you is self-employed or is involved with a family business, a premarital agreement could avoid messy litigation about the value and ownership of the business in the event of a divorce.
Significant premarital assets. If one of you has significant assets, a prenuptial could specify what happens with those assets upon death or divorce.
Children from a prior relationship. If either of you has children from a previous relationship or marriage, a premarital agreement can protect the rights of a parent’s premarital assets and discuss how payment of child support for prior children will be paid during the upcoming marriage.
Second and subsequent marriages. Premarital agreements give couples an opportunity to address financial aspects of a marriage. Issues like how will finances work during the marriage, how will premarital debts be paid, and who will pay the taxes on income and assets could be addressed
A premarital agreement is tailored to the needs of the individual couple. There are no fill-in-the-blank forms that meet the statutory requirements. Consult a divorce attorney to discuss how you could benefit from a premarital agreement.