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Why more women are requesting prenuptial agreements

A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that the number of prenuptial agreements has increased notably over the past few years. Over 60 percent of the attorneys surveyed noticed the upsurge, and over 40 percent noted that the growth is especially significant regarding women making the request. A Chicago divorce lawyer understands that a prenup can benefit most couples, but some women assume that there is no need for the pre-marriage document.

Prenups in Illinois

Illinois is one of 27 states that has enacted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). This statute allows couples to create a prenuptial agreement outlining the rights of each party regarding several issues, including child support, spousal support or controlling their own property separate from the marital estate should the couple decide to divorce. In order to be valid, the agreement must not be entered into by force and must provide fair disclosure from both parties.

A change in economic status

According to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of married women are not in the work force, choosing to stay at home to raise children instead. This number is up six percent compared to 10 years ago. A Chicago divorce lawyer knows that wives who choose to leave their careers to be stay-at-home moms may face significant economic challenges should they divorce, leading many to seek the financial safeguard provided by a prenup.

Protecting personal earnings

On the other side of the spectrum are the women who have careers that they have worked hard to achieve. The amount of time and money invested in education can be staggering, and some married women do not want to sacrifice what they have earned if they end up divorcing. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division, but a prenup can provide a framework for how a couple wants their property to be divided. A wife may decide that she wants all of her income to remain as separate property, and a well-drafted agreement can help prevent a judge from attempting to split her income with her husband.

Setting up spousal maintenance

The issue of spousal maintenance can be covered by a prenup, and many women want the protection of knowing that maintenance is available should their marriage come to an end. Whether or not a wife stays at home or is employed, if she makes less than her husband she may need additional income in order to survive on a single paycheck. Couples can choose to add a maintenance provision in a prenuptial agreement to ensure that both parties are taken care of should they divorce.

For many couples, working with an attorney may be the best way to create a prenuptial agreement that meets all of their needs.

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