In his Rolling Stone advice column, David Crosby, of the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fame recently offered some advice for someone thinking about popping the question – the prenuptial question that is. “I think a prenup is saying ‘I don’t trust you'”, says Crosby. “If you have to have a prenup, you’re marrying the wrong person…it is a terrible way to start a relationship.”
My, how times have changed since Crosby married nearly 35 years ago. These days many people view prenuptial agreements as an opportunity to get on the same page financially, divorce-proof separate property one party may bring into the relationship such as a keepsake or family home, and add some provisions regarding what should be left to children in case of one spouse’s death. Many more couples marrying for the first time or contemplating a second marriage enter into prenuptial or post nuptial agreements to protect their family’s financial future.
Say for example, a spouse owns a home which they intend to keep as separate property. A prenup could state this, and also include a provision that the spouse who owns it is also responsible for the costs associated with the maintenance of the property. This not only protects the owner of the home should the marriage fail it also protects their spouse from having to pitch in financially to maintain the separate property which can be expensive over time.
In fact, many people who remarry later in life may have significant assets when compared to a couple just staring out. Homes, retirement funds, and sometimes business ownership or children from previous relationships make a prenuptial a must for financial protection. Not only will a parent want to leave certain assets to children, they also want to make sure that their new spouse is supported. If they have business associates, they will want to protect the business from being divided in a divorce. A prenup can spell out the details to ensure that, in the event of a divorce or death, property will be handled as intended giving everyone peace of mind.
Once upon a time, raising the prenuptial question was considered awkward but these days more households consist of couples that are either both employed outside of the home or work equally hard to contribute to the success of the marriage and family. One or both may have assets they have inherited or were given as gifts from their own families which they want to protect. When they think about starting a family, they want to ensure that the children are provided for. If they have children from a previous marriage they want to pass heirlooms down. Couples have more information today than any other time and for many, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement just makes sense.
If you have questions regarding Illinois prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, contact the family law offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates for more information today at 847-495-6000.