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Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyersAs societal trends evolve, each new generation has its own views and priorities regarding marriage. Millennials, who currently range in age from their mid-twenties to late-thirties, are at a point in their lives when marriage is common, but their approaches to marriage, and often, their approaches to prenuptial agreements, reveal different needs from the generations that came before them.

What Should Millennial Couples Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Not every marriage requires a prenuptial agreement, but if you are a Millennial preparing for marriage, you may want to consider an agreement that addresses the following issues:

  • Protection of assets: According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials on average marry for the first time three years later than Generation X and four years later than Baby Boomers. By the time you get married, you may already be established in your career and have significant assets in your name, and a prenuptial agreement can help you define and protect those assets in the event of a divorce in the future.
  • Student loan debt: Many Millennials have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, which may be a major factor in their financial situation when they prepare to enter a marriage. If one or both partners have significant debt, you may wish to account for it in your prenuptial agreement to ensure that you will not be responsible for your partner’s debt during your marriage or after a potential divorce.
  • Pet custody: Millennials currently comprise the largest share of pet owners in the United States, and many consider pets to be a member of the family. You may be entering your marriage with a pet of your own, or you may have adopted a pet with your partner before your marriage. In either case, your prenuptial agreement can address who has rights to your pet if you get a divorce.

Many Millennials also choose to cohabit with a romantic partner before getting married, which sometimes involves the sharing of assets and financial responsibilities. You may find it beneficial to establish a cohabitation agreement that addresses what happens if the relationship ends.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhether your wedding plans have been delayed by the virus or your big date is quickly approaching, now is the time to lay down financial plans and boundaries. One way to accomplish this is through a prenuptial agreement. Not just for the rich, this legal document can protect you in the event of a divorce, and encourage an open conversation about money management before you tie the knot. Still, there are some important mistakes to avoid when drafting your prenup. 

1. Being Afraid to Bring It Up

When it comes to romantic gestures, discussions about prenuptial agreements are likely the last thing to come to mind. You may even view such discussions as a threat to your impending marriage. Rest assured that a prenuptial agreement is unlikely to be the reason a would-be marriage ends. Instead, it is far more plausible to assume that the parties reached an impasse and realized they were financially incompatible. While such a discovery could be painful, it may also save you from years of heartache and a financially devastating divorce. 

Completing a prenup before your marriage could also protect your marriage from one the leading causes of divorce: arguments over financial matters. Unlike those who do not take the initiative to discuss money before marriage, you and your partner will have an agreement—a clear path to reach and achieve your agreed-upon financial goals. You will also have communicated through a highly complex document, which can further safeguard your marriage against a future divorce. 

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Wheaton family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements are not just for the rich. Instead, there are several scenarios in which this legal document can protect the vested parties in a possible divorce. Learn more by checking out these six situations in which a prenuptial agreement may be in your best interest. 

1. When Either Party Has a Considerable Amount of Wealth

Possession of a considerable amount of wealth is one of the most common reasons that couples choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Entering into this legal agreement before marrying lets you clearly define the rules for how wealth will be distributed in the event of a divorce. This rule also applies if one party earns more than the other at their job. 

2. If Either Party Owns a Business

If either you or your spouse owns a business, you may want to consider a prenup before getting married. Not only can this legal document protect your business and allow for proper allocation of its assets in the event of a divorce, but it can also define parameters on business operations and liability during the course of your marriage. 

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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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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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DuPage County family law attorneysDivorce rates for the American population have been on the decline for several years now, but until recently, no one really understood why. After an analysis from the University of Maryland, experts believe the decline can be directly attributed to the millennial generation. However, it is not just the divorce rate that this demographic is influencing; they are also doing marriage very differently than their predecessors. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned family law attorney can help you protect your marriage, should a divorce ever occur, or assist you in pursuing a favorable outcome in a pending Illinois divorce case. 

Millennials and Marriage

The institution of marriage was once a way of life, what was expected of younger people when they left home. Sadly, those marriages often ended in divorce, either because the parties faced irreconcilable differences or simply decided that they were no longer happy or compatible. Some of those divorcees eventually remarried again; a fair percentage of those marriages also ended in divorce. Millennials are doing things a little differently. Many are waiting until they have an education and career in place before tying the knot - if they decide to do it at all. As a result, they are inherently less likely to divorce. Millennial couples are also signing prenuptial agreements at an almost unprecedented rate, which is helping to protect parties if a divorce does later occur. 

Millennials and Divorce

Although divorce has risen for some of the population (particularly those aged 55 or older), millennials are divorcing at a much lower rate than previous generations. Experts say that part of this could be attributed to their waiting so long to marry, but there are likely other factors at play as well. Higher education and income levels are common among married millennials; both have long been associated with a lower risk of divorce. Much of the poorer population is deciding to cohabitate, rather than marry, which is making it more of an institution for the “elite.” Some may see this as a negative, but there are some benefits - so long as the cohabitating parties have taken steps to protect themselves, should the couple decide to call it quits (i.e. establishing parentage for any shared children, having a cohabitation agreement that addresses how assets, leases, and other aspects of separating will be handled, etc.). 

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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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Illinois family law attorneysDiscussing a legal document that outlines your divorce before you are even married may not seem like the most romantic move. However, experts are now encouraging couples to talk about their finances, as well as the possibility of a divorce, before they wed. Part of this is due to the increasing prevalence of divorce and second marriages among older adults, and the intentional delay of marriage among millennials. The increase in entrepreneurship and small businesses are yet another factor.

Thankfully, a prenuptial agreement can help in these situations (as well as others). Learn more in the following sections, and discover how an experienced family law attorney can help you plan for the worst possible situation without it tainting the joy of your impending marriage.

Step Out of Your Emotions

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Five Reasons Regular People May Want A Prenuptial Agreement, DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorneysSometimes the news will report on celebrities who are getting married and speculate on their prenuptial agreements. Premarital – or prenuptial – agreements may seem like something that only wealthy people need to worry about, but in reality prenuptial agreements are an important legal tool all individuals can take advantage of. Indeed, there are numerous reasons that many couples may wish to craft a prenuptial agreement before getting married, regardless of their wealth.

Communication

Coming together to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement is a way to make sure that you are starting the marriage on the same financial foot together. Prenuptial agreements force couples to communicate about money, which can be one of the most contentious parts of a relationship.

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DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyers, prenuptial agreementMany people are under the mistaken impression that prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are only for people who enter into a marriage with significant personal assets, or who stand to inherit substantial assets at a later date. While it certainly is the case that wealthy people often use prenuptial agreements to protect assets in the event of a divorce, these types of agreements can also greatly benefit people who may have more modest means. For this reason, it is very important for anyone considering getting married to discuss how a prenuptial agreement may be able to help them with an experienced lawyer.

How can prenups be beneficial? Future spouses will find that a prenuptial agreement can provide a host of different benefits.

Help avoid costly disputes in the event your marriage ends in divorce. Divorce can result in significant disputes regarding the way in which assets will be divided and whether either party will be entitled to maintenance (alimony). In the absence of an agreement, Illinois law controls the division of assets and maintenance, which may result in an arrangement that is not to your liking. In many cases, litigating these issues or even resolving them through alternative dispute resolution techniques can be extremely time-consuming and costly. By agreeing to the way these matters will be resolved via a prenup, both parties can save the expense of a dispute in the event of divorce.

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DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyers, prenuptial agreementsAs couples consider marriage, they may also wish to consider prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements are no longer something used to protect the wealthy. Prenuptial agreements are also used by couples from different financial backgrounds to determine how they will handle various issues if they divorce.

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that you understand their full capabilities, as well as limits, before signing any documents presented to you.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

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