A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement in that it describes how a couple’s finances will be split after a divorce. The key difference is that a prenuptial agreement happens before the marriage begins, while a postnuptial agreement takes place after a couple is already married.
Married couples who want to protect their assets in case of divorce should consider a postnuptial agreement. For more information on postnuptial agreements, hiring an attorney can help. They can provide insights on what should be written in the agreement and help prepare the paperwork if necessary.
Reasons For a Postnuptial Agreement
The primary reason for a postnuptial agreement is to safeguard current assets from needing to be divided in a divorce. Property rights not settled in advance by mutual agreement will see them settled through negotiations at the time of divorce or via the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
Couples who can agree on how to divide their assets ahead of time will likely save money on divorce costs in the long run. It is always better to have a friendly agreement before a divorce than to have a complicated and expensive one later.
Issues with Postnuptial Agreements
A postnuptial agreement can be quite expensive to make and will require both parties to have a lawyer. Yours may not cover all divorce-related issues, especially those concerning children, which cannot be addressed in a postnup. Postnuptial agreements will be seen as invalid if they do not have voluntary consent or were created under duress. They can only be enforceable if the court considers them valid.
Even if deemed valid, a postnuptial agreement is not considered the final say on the matter of property division. The court will still look to make the division fair and equitable but will use the postnuptial agreement as a framework to make the process easier. In situations where a postnuptial agreement is considered fair, judges usually uphold them.
Complications After Divorce Without a Postnuptial Agreement in Place
In the absence of a postnuptial agreement, the division of property and assets in Illinois follows the principles of equitable distribution. This means that the distribution is not necessarily an equal 50/50 split but rather aims to be equitable and fair to both spouses.
Illinois courts consider many things when dividing property in a divorce, such as each spouse’s income, how long the marriage lasted, the health of the spouses, whether there are children, and who takes care of the children most of the time. These things help the court decide how to split the property fairly.
Contact a Cook County, IL Postnup Attorney
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