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What Are the Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement for Illinois Spouses?

Posted on in Divorce

joliet postnuptial agreement lawyerMany people are familiar with a prenuptial agreement as a way for couples entering marriage to keep certain assets separate. A postnuptial agreement is less well known, but if a married couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement could be an option to protect significant premarital wealth or business venture, or to protect one spouse from the other’s debt. It can be created at any time after the start of the marriage, in both good times and in bad. A postnuptial agreement should be something you mutually agree on. Like a prenuptial agreement, it is best to work with an attorney before signing any postnuptial agreement.

What Is Protected in an Illinois Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements can define each spouse’s financial rights and responsibilties, including property ownership, financial responsibilities, spousal maintenance obligations, and life insurance considerations. A postnuptial agreement may be useful if one spouse begins a new business venture during marriage and wants to insulate the other from any business debt incurred or doesn’t want to put the couple’s marital assets at risk if the business were to fail. It can also be used by couples who are not ready to divorce but want to safeguard certain assets; usually ones they individually brought into the marriage. 

A postnuptial agreement does not cover child custody and child support. This includes children brought into the marriage by one or both spouses. Arrangements for custody and child support are only decided during the divorce process.

 How Will a Judge Use a Postnuptial Agreement?

 Illinois is an equitable distribution state. During a divorce in Illinois, marital property and assets are divided fairly between the spouses, not divided evenly. If it is fair and was entered into in good faith, the judge will consider a postnuptial agreement as the basis for property division. In the case of a divorce, it can set a framework for a judge to follow when dividing marital assets. However, the final decision is still up to the judge’s discretion. Factors for property division in Illinois include the income of both spouses, the length of the marriage, health considerations, whether the couple had children and what the existing childcare responsibilities are, and other factors. The judge may throw out the agreement if it was entered into by one of the spouses in bad faith, if the conditions are unreasonable, or if it violates the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

Contact A Will County Postnuptial Agreement Attorney

If you have questions about postnuptial agreements and if one may be suitable for your marriage, The Foray Firm can help you understand your options. We will discuss your situation and what should and should not be included in a postnuptial agreement to best suit your interests. Contact our Joliet Family Law Attorneys at 832-919-6400 to set up a confidential consultation and get the legal help you need. 

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2086

 

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