Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be used for a variety of purposes before or during a marriage. These agreements are contracts between couples who are married or are going to be married. Spouses or spouses-to-be can take steps such as setting aside separate property and reaching advance agreements regarding how property is to be divided in the event of a divorce. However, there are issues other than a potential divorce that can be addressed in the context of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Many spouses also use their marital contracts to address the possibility that the marriage will terminate only when one spouse has passed away. While prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are commonly thought of as unromantic and strictly self-protective tools, they have a number of pragmatic legal uses. A majority of spouses could benefit from having a strong prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place in some way, if only for peace of mind. Each party should be represented by an attorney during the creation of your agreement.
What You Can Accomplish With a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
There are legal rules set out in the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act governing what prospective spouses may or may not do using a prenuptial agreement. You and your spouse or future spouse may create provisions related to:
- Property division on divorce – For many spouses, this is the primary use of a marital agreement. Often, engaged people with an income or wealth disparity between them will use a prenuptial agreement typically requested by the wealthier spouse to govern the disposition of certain property in the event of a future divorce. However, it is important that care be taken so that the terms of the agreement would not leave one spouse destitute, as this may be grounds to invalidate an agreement.
- Reserve separate property – In modern times, many adults enter marriage at an older age than was common in the past. This means that many brides and grooms already own significant property prior to marriage, which they may desire to protect using an agreement.
- Spousal support – Spousal maintenance can generally be waived or required by the terms of an agreement.
- Estate planning – Couples may require one another to create an estate plan or to carry life insurance with the other named as a beneficiary. These clauses can be immensely helpful for spouses whose marriage survives until one spouse has passed away.
These are just a few of the types of clauses you and your spouse may choose to include in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Contact a DuPage County Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Attorney
Calabrese Associates, P.C. is experienced in helping spouses and spouses-to-be create mutually satisfactory agreements. Our skilled Naperville prenuptial and postnuptial agreements lawyers will represent your interests throughout the process. Contact us at 630-393-3111 for a confidential consultation.