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What Warrants a Prenuptial Agreement? The ISBA Answers

Question: I am getting married this year. Do I need a prenuptial agreement?

Answer: Many circumstances warrant at least considering a prenuptial agreement. These include being involved in a family-owned business or owning your own business; having part of your paycheck go in a 401(k) or other retirement plan; and the possibility of inheriting assets from your family. Other considerations are owning a residence that will be used as the marital home; or marrying someone who has already accumulated a large amount of debt. A prenuptial agreement can protect your current assets or assets that you expect to inherit, and it can also protect you from your future spouse’s debts which were acquired before the marriage.

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Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit