Many Chicago residents are likely vaguely familiar with prenuptial agreements. However, they may not be aware of exactly what these documents entail. Some may be under the impression that prenuptial agreements are contrary to the spirit of marriage. While it may be true that asking a spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement may not be an act of great romance, it is an act that is very prudent for anyone hoping to spare themselves from potential financial agony in the case of divorce.
Financial agony is a misfortune that can befall any couple that divorces without a prenuptial agreement. In fact, according to a poll conducted of 2,323 adults, 15 percent of divorced Americans were regretful because they did not sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying.
For any high asset divorce, there is significant risk of financial damage. One article cites a couple of famous examples of devastating divorces. Michael Jordan’s divorce, according to the article, cost him $168 million. The court awarded Paul McCartney’s wife around $50 million after the couple’s divorce.
Simply looking at famous examples may not be enough to convince a couple that a prenuptial agreement is necessary. Looking at divorce statistics, however, may prove more convincing. According to the American Psychological Association, the divorce rate in American is somewhere around 40 to 50 percent. Given how common divorce is in America, a prenuptial agreement can begin to seem all the more necessary.
A prenuptial agreement can serve a number of valuable functions. Couples are able to set terms specific to their goals. Some couples may wish to only protect their property, determining in the prenuptial agreement who will retain property rights after a divorce. Other couples may wish to cover fidelity, outlining certain consequences that will occur if one partner is proven to have cheated. Every couple has unique goals with prenuptial agreements and with expert guidance, these goals can often be satisfied.
Source: U.S. News, “For Love or for Money: Should You Get a Prenup?,” Ginger Dean, April 25, 2014