Nowadays, it’s common for two people who are planning to marry to create and sign a prenuptial agreement. While it was once considered a document that was only necessary for the rich and famous, a prenup can actually provide benefits for couples at all income levels. This type of agreement can help a couple determine ahead of time how their marital property will be divided in the event they decide to part ways and get a divorce. It may also spell out how assets or property will be handled during the marriage, such as whose name will be on mortgages, car loans, insurance policies, retirement benefits, etc.

When creating a prenuptial agreement, being open and honest regarding what each person brings to the marriage can lay a solid foundation of trust. With a prenup in place, a couple can make decisions that can help avoid conflict if the marriage does not work out.

Issues to Consider In a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that an engaged couple signs before getting married. The agreement becomes valid on the day the marriage takes place. Illinois prenuptial agreements can address any of the following subjects:

  • Whether one spouse will receive spousal maintenance (alimony), and the amount and length of time of these payments;
  • Each spouse’s property ownership after a divorce;
  • Each spouse’s right to use, manage, transfer, sell, or dispose of property;
  • Either spouse’s obligation to create a will for implementing the terms of the prenuptial agreement;
  • Either spouse’s death benefits from the other spouse’s life insurance policy;
  • Which state’s laws will apply to the agreement if it is disputed; and,
  • Any other subject the couple wants a legal contract to address.

A prenuptial agreement can be amended at any time after a couple gets married. Any change or update to the prenup must be put in writing, and it must include both spouses’ signatures. A couple can also terminate the agreement by putting that in writing and signing it. However, the agreement cannot be revoked if only one spouse wants to cancel it; both spouses have to confirm they want to end the agreement.

Benefits of Signing a Prenup

There are various reasons why a couple would want to draw up a prenuptial agreement before their marriage. For example, if either spouse has children from a previous marriage, the prenup can help protect those children’s future inheritance. Or, if one spouse owns a business, he or she may want to protect that business, especially if it is a main source of income. A prenuptial agreement can also determine ahead of time how any assets that are acquired during the marriage will be divided if a divorce occurs.

Contact an Oak Park Family Law Attorney

Some people may think a prenuptial agreement means they are expecting to get divorced, but planning ahead can help avoid a lot of trouble in the future. It is better to be prepared, since no one can predict the future. If you are engaged to be married, a Hillside, IL prenuptial agreement lawyer with over 31 years of experience at the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can help  create a prenup that is beneficial to both spouses in the event your marriage ends. To schedule a free consultation, call 708-449-7400 today.