The beginning of the New Year leads us right into Valentine’s Day and both of these times of year are indicative of many engagements. Technically speaking, a premarital agreement is made between two prospective (usually engaged) spouses, made in contemplation of marriage, usually with the mutual goal of discussing and planning each of their rights, obligations and disposition as it applies to property, spousal support, benefits and, frankly, anything that is not in violation of public policy or a statute in the event of separation, divorce and the like. The formalities include that the premarital agreement must be made in writing and signed by both parties, becoming effective upon marriage; an attorney to represent each party is paramount to ensure compliance with all statutory requirements and validity.
Why do so many couples discuss and plan to get a premarital agreement? A properly drafted premarital agreement can drastically reduce the cost and time of future litigation. It also forces couples to openly and honestly discuss their present income, assets, liabilities and future goals.
As I say every year in January to anyone asking, always consider your options and discuss your concerns with an attorney before walking down the aisle.
You can find Jennifer R. Ward, Founder of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC at www.wardfamilylawchicago.com or you can follow her on Facebook @WardFamilyLaw and Twitter @WardFamLawIL
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