A prenuptial agreement, typically known as a prenup, is a written contract created by two individuals prior to their marriage. This legally binding document establishes the future of any separate and marital property and/or assets, debts, and estate plan for each spouse in the event of a divorce. The state of Illinois has its own laws on what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement, so before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to verify the validity.
Important Issues to Address in a Prenup
A prenup is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement, meaning the elements that one couple may address in their agreement might not be appropriate for another couple’s situation. However, the topics listed below are a few general ideas you may want to consider including in your agreement:
Asset and property division: Any property and assets acquired during the marriage will need to be split fairly unless stated otherwise according to Illinois’ equitable distribution law. Couples may specify how said property and/or assets may be distributed between each other ahead of time.
Marital debt: Regardless of your financial situation, discussing the division of debt can be challenging. Addressing difficult topics like this from the get-go allows for full transparency. It is important to establish who will be responsible for paying off any outstanding credit card balances or vehicle loans if your marriage ends.
Pets: What will happen to the family pet if you get divorced? If you are worried about who will receive the pet if you break up, be sure to establish a pet custody plan or visitation schedule.
Family heirlooms: Do you have precious family keepsakes you would like to protect? It is important to specify how you would like them to be handled or split in the event of divorce.
Elements That Cannot Be Determined in a Prenup
Although prenuptial agreements can include solutions for property/asset division, the future living situation of your pets, and other financial matters, there are certain topics that you cannot address. The following issues must be decided on during the divorce process:
Child support and allocation of parental responsibilities: Since the court must approve your child support and parental responsibility order, it cannot be predetermined within your prenuptial agreement. The state bases its decision on the child’s best interest at the time the issue comes into play.
Household duties: Including who will take out the trash, wash the dishes, or fold the laundry within your prenup is mundane. These simple issues can be easily addressed on a daily basis without the assistance of a formal agreement.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney
If you are considering creating a prenuptial agreement and have questions or concerns, contact a qualified DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyer from A. Traub and Associates. Our experienced legal team can provide practical legal advice regarding creating, signing, modifying, or enforcing your prenuptial agreement. Call or text us today at 630-426-0196 to schedule an appointment.