Prenuptial agreements aren’t only for the wealthy

| Feb 11, 2021 | Divorce |

In the past, many people may have shied away from getting a prenuptial agreement. Some people may assume they do not need one because they are not wealthy, while others may feel that it signals a lack of trust that the marriage will last. However, neither of these assumptions may be true.

Divorce professionals anecdotally say they have seen an increase in the request for prenuptial agreements, especially among the millennial generation. If you are part of this generation, born around the beginning of the 1980s to the mid-nineties, perhaps you have considered signing a prenup. No matter what your age may be, prenuptial agreements in Illinois aren’t just for protecting wealth, but they may address many potential issues in a marriage. Here is what you need to know about what a prenup may do for you.

A prenup may cover finances

As mentioned earlier, a prenup certainly can take into account one’s existing wealth, but there may be other financial incentives for signing one. Many people, particularly millennials, may carry a significant amount of debt as they enter marriage. A prenup can outline how that debt figures into the marriage, especially if one partner will continue to hold responsibility for it or if both have a plan for paying it off. Debt incurred during the marriage is different, and it might be a good idea to keep the two categories separate.

Some people may want the prenup to outline provisions for future earnings. This could happen if one spouse starts earning significantly more money than the other. Married men statistically earn more money than single men, but married women often see a hit to their earning power because they’re more likely to act as the primary caregiver for any children. A prenup could dictate how to handle those possible future earnings in the event of divorce.

A prenup may cover “dependents”

Though pets have typically been treated as property in a marriage, these days, many people view them as members of the family, and their care may be stipulated in a prenup. Also, as technology for making a family continues to evolve, so too must legal documentation in that area. For couples who choose fertility treatments that involve frozen embryos, a prenup may dictate how those are managed in the event of divorce. In either case, consideration for less-traditional family members can give the marrying couple peace of mind.

No matter what a couple’s financial circumstances and needs may be, a prenuptial agreement may be the best means of addressing them. This legal area deserves careful consideration as divorce may have an undesired effect on any one of above issues. You and your future spouse may find it’s the right choice for you.