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Illinoia family law attorneysPeople do not typically marry with the intention of one day divorcing, but those who have already experienced a failed marriage may be even more adamant to grow old with their new partner. Sadly, the risk of divorce is significantly higher for subsequent marriages. As such, it is highly recommended that parties take proactive steps to protect their assets in a second marriage. Learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can help you do this, and discover how our seasoned family law attorneys can help. 

Know Your Wealth and Assets

Just as it is critical to know your wealth and assets in a divorce, you should know them going into a marriage. Not only does this give you a base to work from in the event of a divorce, but it also enables you to effectively and proactively protect your wealth, long before a divorce occurs. 

Never Enter a Second Marriage Without a Prenuptial Agreement

If you did not sign a prenuptial agreement before your first marriage, it is likely you know just how messy dividing assets in a divorce can be. When you add in the fact that may divorcees also have children from their previous marriage, perhaps even child support and spousal support obligations, the importance of protecting one’s assets in a second marriage becomes even more crucial. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure you have a sound and concise prenuptial agreement before you marry a second time. 

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Naperville family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements often carry a negative connotation. Yet, when one examines the details of some of the nation’s biggest divorces, the importance of a prenup becomes clear. Millennials are starting to change the way that we see them (they are signing these documents at an unprecedented rate), but maybe more can be done to help people see them for the useful tool that they are. One financial expert recently suggested that couples use it as a financial planning tool. 

Step One: Consider Your Current Situation and Future Goals 

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, chances are, you already know you will one day be successful in business or money. Perhaps you have a knack for sales and have just made stockbroker. Maybe you see just how hard your spouse is working in medical school, and you are certain that they will be a successful physician. In either case, you envision a future that involves at least some measure of wealth. 

Rather than simply let that vision go to waste, use it to create a vibrant picture of your financial future. Set goals and milestones for achieving certain tasks, such as paying off your student loan debt or purchasing your first commercial property. Now take it one step further and consider how you want to spend your money, day-to-day. Would you rather invest? Are you interested in procuring certain assets? Do you want to donate a certain percentage of your earnings to a charity each year or quarter? In short, attempt to consider every element of your future wealth and then use it as a framework to prepare for the next steps. 

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Wheaton alimony lawyersData suggests that more couples are signing prenuptial agreements before getting married, which could be a good thing, as data suggests that couples are less likely to divorce when they have one in place. However, those that have one already may need to review their documents, come 2019. 

How the New Tax Law is Expected to Impact Existing Prenuptial Agreements 

The new tax law, set to go into effect on January 1, 2019, is expected to impact both married and divorcing couples in a significant way. For those going through a divorce, it may affect alimony payments—both in amount and how willing a party is to make them. It is this aspect of the new law that also affects prenuptial agreements. 

For the past 70 years, alimony payments have been tax-deductible for the payor and taxed as income for receivers. The new tax law eliminates this element of divorce law. Sadly, this change is expected to leave less money for the family, as a whole. Without the tax benefit, payers may have less discretionary spending money than their spouses. The courts have to balance this out by reducing the alimony payment amount, so even though the receiving party may not have to report the payments as taxable income, they may ultimately receive less money. Neither party benefits from this, unfortunately, but the change is inevitable. 

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Illinois family law attorneysIf you signed a prenuptial agreement before the start of your marriage, you are among the small percentage of couples that decided to “insure” your assets against the devastating effects of a nasty divorce. However, a new tax law may now require you to reexamine (and potentially make changes to) your current agreement. Learn more in the following sections, including how our seasoned divorce lawyers can assist you with the process. 

How the New Tax Law May Affect the Provisions of Your Prenuptial Agreement 

If your prenuptial agreement includes a provision for alimony, you may need to reexamine it, as the new tax law changes how alimony is handled after a divorce. Though alimony was once considered a deduction that payers could claim to lower their tax load at the end of the year, it will become nothing more than an added expense in divorces that occur after December 31, 2018, as the new law eliminates it as a deduction. Since the paying spouse is typically in a higher tax bracket than the receiving spouse, this change may leave less money for the family unit.

Reexamining your prenuptial agreement can help you determine if alimony is still a useful tool in the event of a divorce. However, you will want to do this with the assistance of a seasoned family law attorney, as they typically have an in-depth understanding of how the law applies to prenuptial agreements and divorce. Moreover, an attorney can help you strategize other possible provisions that can better protect your assets if alimony is determined to be an unfavorable one. 

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DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyersCouples do not usually enter a marriage with the intention of someday divorcing, but statistics indicate that just a little under half of them do. It is that high rate of divorce (and the potential losses that may ensue because of one) that is causing many millennials to take preventative steps.  One of the most crucial is the drafting of a prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, these documents cannot cover every aspect of your marriage, and there is always the risk that one (or all) of the terms will not hold up in court. Learn how to “bulletproof” your prenuptial agreement, and discover how a seasoned family law attorney can assist you with the process. 

Starting Your Marriage with Transparency

Honesty and transparency are the cornerstones of a healthy marriage, and a prenuptial agreement can help you incorporate these qualities into your marriage, early on. Of course, you can attempt to hide or inflate your wealth in a prenup, but it is never wise - and not just because it is dishonest or deceptive. By not disclosing any wealth you have, or by intentionally inflating it, you can completely void your prenuptial agreement. As a result, your document may not be honored in court, and you may lose even more of your assets through penalties from the court. Avoid this prenuptial agreement mistake by ensuring you are honest about all the assets you have and expect to earn in the future, and always be transparent with your spouse about losses and gains that occur over the course of your marriage. Also, ensure you avoid any inadvertent mistakes by talking to a lawyer about your assets prior to the creation of your prenup. 

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