Choosing to get married can be one of the biggest decisions of your life. While you are tying yourself emotionally to another person for what could conceivably be the rest of your life, you are also agreeing to share your financial lives. This means that assets and liabilities alike can become shared. This may be beneficial while you are married, but in the event that you divorce, you may get stuck with debts and lose a significant amount of money through the property division process.
Many Illinois and Indiana residents find this potentiality frightening, which is why they turn to legal agreements. A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract you enter into with your soon-to-spouse detailing how assets and debts will be handled in the event of divorce. It can spell out how certain family law matters will be handled, including property division and spousal support. It can't, however, address matters like child custody and child support.
There are other drawbacks to a prenuptial agreement. For example, those who are smitten by their soon-to-be spouse may agree to terms that are not in their best interests. Also, low-earning spouses may be left with an agreement that, should the marriage end in divorce, will disallow them from enjoying the standard of living they had while the marriage was intact. Additionally, having a conversation about this issue prior to tying the knot may create a sense of distrust amongst the couple.
These aspects can be negated, though, when addressed properly. However, those who are unaffiliated with these agreements can find themselves confused by the terms or deceived by them. This is why many choose to obtain the assistance of a skilled family law attorney who can help them draft and/or negotiate an agreement that is right for them.