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Can a prenuptial agreement make divorce less acrimonious?

When two people fall in love and tie the knot, they hope to be together, in love and happiness “till death do them part.” However, this is far from reality. With a divorce rate in the U.S as high as 50 percent, it is important to embrace the reality that your marriage might as well end in divorce. 

A prenuptial agreement (also known as a prenup) is a written contract that couples sign before getting married. Among other functions, this document specifies the assets each party owns before marriage. Here are two ways a prenuptial agreement can be helpful during divorce:

Fair sharing of the marital assets

One of the most contested issues during the divorce is usually the division of marital property. Prenuptial agreements are commonly invoked during a divorce to help separate marital assets from non-marital assets. This ensures that only marital assets are put up for division. 

Speed up the divorce process

During the divorce process, the court will usually rely on the Illinois marital property division law when ruling on property division. Determining what amounts to marital property during an emotionally-charged divorce can lead to a protracted property tussle that can drag on for years.

A prenuptial agreement can save the couple, and the court, all this hassle by indicating what constitutes marital property and what does not. Better still, some prenups also state how a divorcing couple would wish to have marital property shared in an event of a divorce. If a prenup has such provisions (and they are legal), the court will have no option but to honor the contract. This can save the couple and the court time and money while speeding up the divorce process. 

Most couples do not get into a prenup agreement with the goal of divorcing. In fact, most prenup agreements encourage couples to stay together. However, if divorce becomes inevitable a thoughtfully created prenup agreement can streamline the process and make it less tiresome for both parties.