Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich anymore. With the growing amount of second (and third) marriages, protecting one's estate through prenuptial agreements is becoming an increasingly popular practice. Although most individuals enter a marriage with the expectation to remain with that person 'til death do they part, many lawyers would advise the hopeful newlyweds to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Here are just a few of the many things one may want to consider when deciding on whether or not to hire an attorney to assist with the creation of a prenuptial agreement:
1. Protection from your spouse's debt. Prenuptial agreements can offer protection for married individuals from their spouse's current and future debt. Examples of such debt include student loans and credit card debt. Without a prenup, an individual may take on the debt of his or her spouse, which may adversely affect his or her ability to take out loans, open up credit cards, etc.
2. Children from a previous marriage. For the individual entering a second marriage with children, he may want to protect his children's interest in certain assets in the event of divorce. Such protection would preclude the possibility of the second wife or her children from gaining ownership of such assets in the event of divorce or death of the owner of such assets.
3. Maintenance/alimony considerations. Before entering a marriage, individuals can plan a spousal support agreement in the event that the couple undergoes a divorce in the future. Couples can agree on a certain amount of maintenance to be paid, or they can agree to waive any rights to maintenance altogether.
4. Inheritance protection. In most jurisdictions, a couple's property is categorized into separate property and marital property. Marital property (property that is brought into a marriage and not obtained during the course of a marriage), such as an inheritance, can be precluded from the equitable division of assets upon specification in a prenuptial agreement. This option offers a sense of security to the spouse who desires to protect his inheritance from a future ex-spouse in the event of divorce.
For more information on prenuptial agreements, feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.