Many people hear the term “prenuptial agreement” and immediately think of celebrities or other famous wealthy individuals. The perception is often that such high net-worth people create prenuptial agreements in order to protect their assets and prepare themselves for an inevitable future divorce. While it is certainly true that these types of agreements can be very useful in the event of a divorce, their true strength lies in the ability to help any couple – not just the super-rich – establish security in their marriage that may even reduce the likelihood of divorce.
Marriage is a Legal Contract
While the current cultural view of marital relationships is that they are an expression of romantic love and familial commitment, the legal view is quite different. The law, of course, recognizes the familial commitment, but in the seven parts and hundreds of pages that comprise the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there is not a single reference to or use of the word “love.” As far as the law is concerned, marriage represents a type of contract between two parties, entered willingly and without coercion. Obviously, romantic love is the basis for a vast majority of marriages in this country, and addressing the contractual aspect from the beginning can allow couples to focus on the personal side of a healthy relationship.