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Why it's best to be fair with your prenup

We all know the statistics surrounding divorce rates. About half of marriages end in divorce, and that number goes up with second and third marriages. We aren't reminding you of this to put a damper on the outlook of your marriage, but rather to point out that there are ways to protect yourself if you are about to get married.

Of course, no one enters into a marriage with the expectation of getting divorced eventually. However, the facts exist, so people in Chicago who are getting married with high assets may want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement.

Think about everything that is yours. Maybe you have a car or a house. Maybe you have business investments, or perhaps you just received an inheritance. Do you have a lot of money saved, a trust fund or are building up a 401(k)? All of these things could get divided up between you and your spouse if you decide to divorce down the road.

When drafting a prenuptial agreement, it's important to be fair. Having your spouse sign a contract that essentially gives you everything and him or her nothing, probably won't hold up in court, mostly because it will look like your spouse was pressured into signing it. Prenups can be very detailed if you want them to be, so working with an experienced attorney can be helpful as you come up with a fair agreement.

Currently, the rules surrounding prenups vary from state to state, so if potential spouses are from or live in different states, things can get more complex. Fortunately, the Uniform Law Commission is working toward making a more uniform set of best practices for prenups that will hopefully make things a little easier.

Source: Financial Advisor, "New Prenuptial Rules Aim to Get States on Same Page," Arden Dale, Aug. 15, 2012

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