Prenuptial agreements were once frowned upon by many couples and viewed perhaps as unnecessary or overly cynical. Today, however, as relevant laws change and divorce becomes more common, it is not surprising that many couples are turning to prenuptial agreements as a means of avoiding the complications and costs associated with a contested, drawn-out divorce.
Although prenuptial agreements can offer both spouses great protection, these agreements are not always as secure as many people believe. Statistics indicate that a growing number of people view prenuptial agreements as favorable or even necessary, which makes it important for people in Cook County, Illinois, to understand some of the limitations associated with these contracts.
Prenuptial agreements on the rise
Attitudes regarding prenuptial agreements have changed significantly, as a Huffington Post article published in fall 2013 reveals. Some facts reported include:
- In 2010, 49 percent of divorced people and 44 percent of single people thought prenuptial agreements were a smart idea.
- Nearly one in six people who have been through a divorce expressed regret over choosing to forego a prenuptial agreement.
- In 2013, 63 percent of divorce lawyers reported seeing more couples signing prenuptial agreements.
- The same year, 46 percent of divorce attorneys observed a greater number of females insisting on prenuptial agreements.
With prenuptial agreements, couples may protect themselves against undesirable outcomes decreed by a judge and the expenses of lengthy, contested divorce proceedings. However, it is important for couples to understand that there are basic limitations to what prenuptial agreements can cover and to the conditions that these agreements can be signed under.
Potential prenuptial mistakes
There are a few reasons that a prenuptial agreement might not hold up in the event of a divorce, as described in a Forbes article. Both parties must have personal legal representation when signing a prenuptial agreement, and an agreement that is strongly slanted to favor one party or that was signed under duress may not hold up. Prenuptial agreements that overstep their bounds by dictating things such as child support — which must be determined based on state formulas — may be thrown out. Finally, agreements that are written incorrectly or based on fraudulent information may also be revoked.
Seeking appropriate legal counsel is the easiest way that a couple can avoid dealing later on with prenuptial agreement issues, not to mention the conflict and hassle that the agreement was intended to eliminate. An attorney can help each party ensure that his or her rights are adequately protected and that the agreement being drawn up is legally sound.
If you are preparing to get married and think that a prenuptial agreement might be the right choice for you, make sure that you speak with a lawyer as well as your future spouse about this means of protecting yourself and your interests.