Illinois prenuptial agreements aren’t solely for those with huge estates. For richer or for poorer, prenuptial agreements protect your assets in the event of a divorce.
Thus, prenups clearly identify marital property. More so, prenuptial agreements specify the division of assets in the event of a divorce.
Benefits of Illinois Prenuptial Agreements
For the newly engaged, broaching the subject of forging an Illinois prenuptial agreement may come across as taboo. Although many feel initial reluctance, prenups mark a crucial stepping stone towards better addressing future financial conversations.
Through the collaborative process, couples work together to discuss financial discussions that benefit both parties. By protecting the property of both members of the couple, prenups aid in the marital estate planning process.
For specifics, many couples choose to create a prenuptial agreement to:
- Define the scope of marital property
- Facilitate martial estate planning
- Protect the rights of children from another relationship
Ideally, the couple should prepare the agreement as far ahead of the actual marriage as possible. Typically, six months represents a good amount of time. Unfortunately, signing a prenuptial agreement too close to the marriage may create enforcement issues. For instance, one party could claim that they signed it under duress.
Enforcing Illinois Prenuptial Agreements
When enforcing Illinois prenuptial agreements, the law requires an agreement in writing, signed, and dated by both parties. Furthermore, both parties must voluntarily sign the agreement. As with many agreements, the prenup must not be unconscionable. In other words, the prenup shows to be fair, free of fraud, and include fully disclosed finances. Along that vein, a valid prenuptial agreement mandates that neither party withheld pertinent financial information.
However, enforceable prenuptial agreements also take children into account. Overall, the right of a child to support cannot be “adversely affected” by the agreement. The court views any agreement regarding custody and parental responsibilities of children. Moreover, the court enforces the agreement only if it acts in the best interests of the children.
Lastly, prenuptial agreements tend to include language regarding spousal support. Initially, some couples choose to waive spousal support when crafting their prenuptial agreement. In the event of unforeseen circumstances that create an undue hardship, the court may later order spousal support.
Preparing Your Prenuptial Agreement
Although prenuptial agreements tend to be more common, postnuptial agreements (or mid-marital agreements) are also viable options. Regardless of when the couple prepares their nuptial, the contract acts as a method to protect the assets of both parties, clearly identify marital property, and simplify long-term family planning.
For legal guidance with preparing Illinois prenuptial agreements, contact the family law firm at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC.