Even if you love your spouse and are happy with them when you get married, you cannot predict the future. People change and evolve over time, and it is impossible to know what will change down the road. The way you feel about your spouse when you get married may not be the same as the way you feel about them 5, 10, or 15 years later. When things get tough in a marriage, one or both spouses may begin to consider divorce. The decision to divorce does not take place overnight, nor is it an easy one to make. When a couple is unhappy, yet not quite ready to call it quits, talking with a divorce lawyer and creating a postnuptial agreement may actually help save the marriage.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is a legally-binding agreement that is signed before the marriage. The main difference between the two is that a postnuptial agreement is signed after a couple is already married. The two types of agreements may also address different areas — a prenuptial agreement tends to focus on issues that might come to light during the marriage, such as infidelity or financial issues, whereas a postnuptial agreement typically looks at the current life that you have built and what that will look like moving forward.
How a Postnuptial Agreement Can Save Your Marriage
Many couples reach a stage in their marriage where they are unhappy with the marriage and/or the spouse, but they are still not ready to call it quits. This time is crucial in a marriage. Failing to address your unhappiness will likely lead to divorce, but being proactive about it can actually help you save your marriage.
When a couple creates a postnuptial agreement, this can help them discuss issues that may be bothering each of them. In many cases, postnuptial agreements contain lifestyle clauses, which address non-financial areas of the marriage. The subject of these clauses can range from contributing to housework to limiting the number of times the in-laws can visit each year. Lifestyle clauses do not necessarily have anything to do with the couple’s finances, but breaking these clauses do tend to have financial ramifications.
One of the most common lifestyle clauses in a postnuptial agreement tends to deal with infidelity. A postnuptial agreement can contain information on what will happen if one spouse is unfaithful during the marriage. These are often created after a spouse has already strayed from their marriage, and they may require certain changes and actions to be made by the unfaithful spouse. However, postnuptial agreements can also address infidelity before any unfaithfulness has taken place. These clauses can also help financially protect a spouse in the event that the couple does decide to get a divorce. Illinois no longer recognizes fault for a divorce, aside from irreconcilable differences, and a spouse’s unfaithfulness will not be a determining factor in any legal decisions made during divorce. In many cases, a postnuptial agreement is the best way to make sure infidelity will be addressed during the divorce process.
Speak With a DuPage County Family Law Attorney Today
As soon as you or your spouse notice serious unhappiness with your marriage, you should speak with a skilled Wheaton, IL postnuptial agreement lawyer. This can give you both a chance to talk about the marriage and come to an agreement about issues that may be bothering you. At the Goostree Law Group, our team has more than 80 years of combined legal experience, and we can help you craft an agreement that suits you both. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-364-4046.