In previous years, some people in Illinois might have viewed prenuptial agreements as something that only wealthy individuals needed to worry about. However, these types of agreements are still highly relevant to those without many assets to their name. In addition to pre-determining the division of property, a prenup can also address a burgeoning financial obligation that many people now shoulder.

Increasingly, couples with lower incomes — but significant debt — are getting married. Whether from credit cards or even college loans, these debts generally become shared once the couple is married. This means that during a divorce, the settlement could divide this debt between the two, which may not be in the best interest of those involved.

In addition to determining who keeps what debt, a prenup may also address how holidays with any children of the marriage might be split. If the couple has varying religious beliefs, how any children are to be raised and taught according to those beliefs can also be addressed. It has been noted that while these conversations will also likely arise during divorce settlement discussions, determining these problems beforehand can remove some of the tension that may be present during a divorce.

Should a married Illinois couple’s situation change, a postnuptial agreement — one that takes place after a couple has already married — can amend the original prenup or be executed even if there never was a prenup in the first place. Although some couples may believe that prenups can only address the division of property or are hesitant to discuss the possibility of divorce, protecting the interest of either party from the other’s debt can be an important step to take. Additionally, should a couple already share children prior to the marriage, the prenup can further address future issues of holidays or religious upbringings, which can ease some issues concerning child custody down the road.

Source:, “Here’s Why Every Couple Should Get A Prenup Before Marriage“, Libby Kane, Aug. 5, 2014