It may not be the most romantic topic of conversation, but having a realistic, honest conversation about premarital agreements may be the best decision you make. While prenups have traditionally been viewed unfavorably by soon-to-be spouses who would never even consider getting a divorce, there are multiple benefits that can be achieved through the use of a prenup. It’s essential to comply with legal requirements and understand the effect of the document, which is why you should discuss your circumstances with a Chicago premarital agreement attorney regarding a suitable arrangement. However, you may find it useful to review the advantages.
Enjoy a More Certain Future
All states, including Illinois, have laws regarding how property is divided between the parties of divorce, as well as laws regarding spousal support. Without a prenup, the judge is required to apply these statutes – often resulting in a result you never expected. When you have a plan in place, you don’t have to wonder what happens to your property or income in a divorce.
Benefit from Honesty and Full Disclosure
Under the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a prenup isn’t enforceable if:
- One signed the agreement involuntarily; or
- It’s extremely unfair at the time it’s signed and before it was signed;
- The party seeking enforcement was not provided reasonable disclosure regarding the other person’s assets and debts;
- That party didn’t voluntarily waive, in writing, disclosure of financial information beyond what was provided; and
- That party could not have reasonably been expected to know about the other’s financial condition.
Eliminate Concerns About Individual Debt
If one future spouse is worried about the financial obligations the other would bring to the marriage, a prenuptial agreement can alleviate these concerns. It’s possible to craft a contract that shields the debt-free spouse in the event of divorce.
Account for Children from Prior Relationships
If you’re considering a prenup and have children from previous relationships, you need to consider how your marriage affects them. This is especially true if you have legal and court mandated obligations to your ex-spouse. A premarital agreement also helps to make your wishes known concerning how property is divided if you predecease your future spouse in situations where you have children from a prior marriage or relationship.
Protect Your Business
Closely held businesses can make divorce complex. Protecting a business with a premarital agreement is often imperative. Through proper structuring, you can designate your interests in a business as separate property in a premarital agreement. Only marital property is subject to distribution in a divorce, so your ownership interests in the company would not be considered by the court. This eliminates the problem of being forced to sell or – worse – have your ex-spouse involved in running it.
Consult with a Chicago Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Regarding Your Options
To learn more about how a premarital agreement, please contact my office, Michael C. Craven, to set up a confidential consultation. We can assist with drafting the essential documentation, or review a prenup that you’ve been asked to sign. You can reach our Chicago office by calling (312) 621-5234 or visiting our website.