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DuPage County postnup lawyerIn a previous blog post, we discussed some reasons that you may want to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. But what if you are already married? In these cases, you may consider a postnuptial agreement. However, you may be unsure of when this type of agreement is appropriate. There are some reasons that you may want to consider discussing this type of agreement with your spouse.

Why Should You Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most everyone has heard of a prenup, and these types of agreements have become increasingly more common. However, as their name implies, prenuptial agreements can only be signed before getting married. For those who are already married, a postnuptial agreement can function in a similar fashion, and it can include decisions about a couple’s marriage and their potential divorce. A postnup can address the division of property and debt and the allocation of investments and retirement funds, and it can modify or eliminate a spouse’s right to receive alimony/spousal support.

There are many reasons to sign a postnuptial agreement, and some of them are actually quite surprising. Here is a look at why you might want to sign a postnup:

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County prenup lawyerIt might seem like a cynical thing to contemplate prior to your wedding, but before getting married, you should consider drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are less of a way to imply doom and gloom for your future marriage and more of a smart method to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario: divorce. Prenuptial agreements enable you to decide on many of the terms of your divorce at the start of your marriage—this includes division of property and division of debtallocation of investments and retirement funds; and determination of alimony/spousal support.

Why Should You Sign a Prenup?

At one time, prenups were more common among wealthier people who had more assets with which to negotiate. These days, however, they are becoming more common for a wide variety of people, including millennials who are trying to protect themselves from the possibility of divorce in the future. Since divorce is so much more common now than it was in years past, it makes sense to safeguard against it with a prenuptial agreement.

There are myriad reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement, and many of those will ultimately depend on your particular situation. In general, some convincing reasons to use a prenuptial agreement are:

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Wheaton, IL property division lawyerAs discussed in a previous blog, the division of property in a divorce is a complex and nuanced issue in Illinois. This is because, as with many states, property is not simply divided equally; by law, it must be divided “equitably.” In general, equitable distribution of assets is not a strict and simple process. Typically, the decisions are subjective depending on what the parties or the judge find to be fairest depending on the circumstances. The determination of what is “equitable” is based on a variety of factors.

What Is Considered “Equitable” in Illinois

As mentioned in the last post, only marital property can be divided in a divorce; that is, only property or other assets purchased or obtained during the marriage will be divided. As such, the equitable distribution of property refers only to marital property.

While there might be that rare occasion when what is considered “equitable” in a divorce case just so happens to also be “equal,” more often than not, equitable division of assets is much more complicated and multifaceted. Overall, when determining what is equitable, divorcing spouses, their lawyers, and the judges in their cases may consider any or all of the following:

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DuPage County family law attorney for prenupsPrenuptial agreements are often associated with very wealthy individuals, and people who seek a prenup may be seen as believing that their marriage will not last. Because of this, a stigma was attached to these agreements, but this has changed over time, and prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more common.

When Is a Prenuptial Agreement Appropriate?

Nowadays, it is routine for marrying couples to discuss, agree to, and sign a prenuptial agreement before they exchange marriage vows and seal their marriage. A prenuptial agreement may be appropriate in a variety of situations, including:

  • One spouse has significantly more assets than the other spouse. In this case, it behooves the spouse with significantly more assets to have a prenuptial agreement in place to protect against the incidental or deliberate inclusion of their assets as marital property in a potential divorce. Ordinarily, assets obtained before a couple’s marriage are considered non-marital property and therefore not subject to division or sharing after divorce.

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prenuptial agreement, Wheaton family lawyerIn recent years, an increasing number of couples have chosen to execute prenuptial agreements, or prenups, before their marriages. There are many different reasons for you and your potential spouse to consider a prenup, but all such agreements have the potential to be declared invalid if they are not drafted properly. If you want to be certain that your prenuptial agreement will pass legal muster, there are some things you should know.

Only Certain Issues Can Be Discussed

The major issue that many couples encounter with prenups is trying to address concerns that, by law, cannot be settled until they become relevant, with child support and parenting time being the most common. Illinois prenups are governed by the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), and it contains a specific list of items about which the parties may contract, including the right to dispose of assets, the right to continue certain arrangements from the agreement in a will or trust, and “any other matter … not in violation of public policy.” Child support is perhaps the most paramount of these.

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