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Illinois prenuptial agreement attorneysPrenuptial agreements are designed to minimize the risk of complications in a divorce, but this is not their only potential benefit. Used correctly, this legal document can also benefit a couple during their marriage. Get the details on how a prenup can benefit (and possibly even strengthen) your marriage, and discover how a seasoned family law attorney can help to smooth the conversation, should you decide to get one before you wed.

1. Prenups Can Bolster Your Marriage Against Money Issues 

Money is the second leading cause of divorce—and not just because one party has it and is trying to control it. Couples may earn close to the same amount but have wildly different views on how money should be spent or saved. As a result, they may argue incessantly over money, which can erode the foundation of their marriage. Alternatively, their financial goals may not align with one another, so the parties may work against one another instead of together toward a common goal. 

When creating a prenuptial agreement, couples typically discuss their financial habits and goals. This allows the parties to predict and potentially strategize against some of the financial issues that may arise over the course of their marriage. It also requires them to compromise and agree on some common financial goals. All this work, painful and stressful as it might seem, can bolster the marriage against money issues later on down the road. 

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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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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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