Marriage is more than love and romance. The union is comprised of many facets, not the least of which is the financial component. One must remember that above all, marriage is a legal contract, and unless an agreement exists stating otherwise, “What is mine is yours" is the general rule that will be followed. Under Illinois law, any property or debt acquired during a marriage is considered marital property, meaning both parties have an equal claim to these assets in the case of divorce. Although this may seem trivial when everything is sunshine and rainbows during a marriage, it can be extremely detrimental should the union fail. To address these issues, a postnuptial agreement can protect your interests if your relationship encounters difficulty.
A Logical Look to the Future
A prenuptial agreement can document what should happen to assets and debts should the marriage result in divorce. Although the thought of the marriage failing before it even begins can be unromantic, logically, this is an ideal time for the discussion, especially given that approximately 50% of marriages result in divorce. When preparing to get married, you can civilly discuss the intimate details without the hostility associated with separation.
After “I Do,” It Is Not Too Late
For many Americans, a prenuptial agreement is either out of the question or regarded as unnecessary. However, as a marriage progresses, circumstances change that alter the family dynamic. In these cases, it is not too late to create a legal agreement to protect yourself. A postnuptial agreement is fundamentally identical to a prenup, except that it is created after the marriage vows. The contract can include any provisions the couple deems necessary, such as how assets will be divided or whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance. Some spouses even choose to incorporate a clause regarding what should happen in the event of adultery, something the state does not include in divorce decisions.
When Is a Postnuptial Agreement Appropriate?
The decision to create a postnuptial agreement does not always come when either or both spouses are considering divorce, although this can happen. Typically, the marriage is in great shape, but something has changed that requires legal clarification. For instance, one spouse may quit their job to stay home and raise the children. It may be a good idea to create legal documentation to ensure that the other spouse cannot later claim that they were against this decision.
Other circumstances in which a postnuptial agreement can be helpful include:
- One spouse comes into a large inheritance.
- A family-owned business grew and expanded over the course of the marriage.
- A spouse was unfaithful, and the other spouse wants to ensure future faithfulness.
A Wheaton Family Law Attorney Can Help
If you think you may need a postnuptial agreement, it is essential to ask an experienced DuPage County postnuptial agreement lawyer for assistance. The laws surrounding divorce and other family issues fluctuate continuously, and it is important to ensure that these issues are properly addressed in a marital agreement. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can advise you on how to create an agreement that meets your needs and protects your rights. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free initial consultation.