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Is My Prenuptial Agreement Valid in Illinois?If you could protect yourself from an unpredictable future, would you do it? Many engaged couples have come to the realization that protecting yourself from the unknown is better than being unprepared. As a bright-eyed and recently engaged couple, divorce is likely not at the forefront of your mind. You are probably spending time thinking about the fun part of the engagement: planning a wedding and a future together. Just as nailing down the details of your wedding arrangements is critical for a successful wedding day, recognizing and preparing for the possibility of divorce can also lead to a better marriage. The unpredictability of an ending relationship can add anxiety and tension to marriage, whereas having things planned out with the help of a prenuptial agreement can ease your worried mind. If you are considering signing a prenup, you should be aware of the following mistakes that can make your agreement invalid in a court of law.

DIY Disaster

As is the case with most legal proceedings, generic legal forms can be found on the internet and filled out by each spouse to act as their prenuptial agreement. Rarely do these unsupervised and uninformed DIY prenups hold up in a court of law. Trying to cut out the cost of an attorney and create your own prenuptial agreement with your spouse can actually lead you to spend more time and money in court later on. Working with an attorney is critical for ensuring equality within the agreement, compliance with your state’s laws, and proper filing of the legal document.

Full Disclosure

The most common reason why couples decide to create a prenuptial agreement is to divide their assets and debts evenly before emotions are heightened by the stress and devastation of divorce. It is imperative that you and your spouse fully disclose your assets and debts in the agreement. Failure to do so can invalidate the entire agreement. If you do not disclose your financial background, the court may assume that you were trying to conceal assets and keep them out of the divorce and your spouse’s hands. Whether intentional or not, you could find yourself scratching your entire prenuptial agreement if things are left unsaid.

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Three Signs That You Should Create a ‘Postnup’Prenuptial agreements are known to have a certain stigma to them. When someone says the word “prenup,” you often think about wealthy, Hollywood couples who are not meant to last together or people getting married for the second time who have significant assets from their previous marriage. This stereotype is far from the truth as more and more couples are selecting to sign a prenup before saying “I do.” These legal agreements have become more normalized in the past decade as couples decide to get married later in life, with more financial assets in tow. What you may not have heard of is a postnuptial agreement. This serves the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed after the marriage has begun. You may think that it seems crazy to sign a “divorce agreement” before or after getting married, but there are situations where it benefits you to have a postnup:

  1. You Own a Business: One of the most uncomfortable and unfair properties to divide in a divorce is a business. For families who open a business together, the company will need to be bought out by one party or divided between both spouses. This can be a difficult division since you both built the business together. In the instance where one spouse comes into the marriage with a successful business, this division can seem unfair since the other spouse had no part in its creation. Business owners may decide to sign a postnuptial agreement to protect their business in case of a divorce. If the couple does not get divorced, both spouses will continue to reap the benefits from their business.
  2. You Have Children From Your First Marriage: Individuals who get married later in life may have already been married previously and have children. Prenups and postnups are more common with second marriages since the couples have seen how divorce can lead to a contentious legal battle without one. Those who have children from their first marriage should consider signing a postnup to designate the division of assets in the event of his or her divorce or death. You and your second spouse may or may not be considering having children, but naming what is owed to the children of your first marriage is a good idea regardless of any new children that may or may not come along the way.
  3. You Received an Inheritance: It can seem uncomfortable to onlookers for those who are married to allocate what is theirs when they are not considering divorce. However, it is not a good idea to allow this stigma to result in your spouse receiving half of a large inheritance that has been indebted to you your entire life. For those who receive an inheritance in the middle of their marriage, it may be a good idea to write up a postnuptial agreement and make it clear that they intend to protect their inheritance during a divorce. 

Call a Joliet Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer

There has been some deliberation about the validity of postnuptial agreements, especially since they are signed after the start of a marriage. Illinois recognizes them, but there are a number of factors that could invalidate your entire agreement if they are included. It is important to seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney who is well versed in Illinois family law. The Foray Firm has a team of legal professionals who are waiting to assist you and your spouse with the creation of this legal agreement. If you are considering signing a prenup or would like more information about what this legal document can do for you, contact our Homewood prenuptial agreement attorneys at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation. 

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Prenup vs. Postnup: Should I Consider Signing One?Many have heard the word “prenup,” but “postnup” has not received nearly as much coverage. Prenuptial agreements are typically discussed in the news as wealthy celebrities tie the knot, yet many have never heard the term postnuptial agreement. In the past, prenups have been “reserved” for the rich and disregarded by the average American. The tides have turned as millennials have changed the average age for marriage. Now that newlyweds have been getting married at a later age, they often have larger savings accounts and more to lose in the instance of divorce. Prenups are a good safety net for any married couple, and postnups have begun to rise in popularity as well. Understanding the difference between the two and knowing their benefits is information that every couple should take the time to learn about before signing on the dotted line.

Is One Better Than the Other?

As is evident in the name, prenuptial agreements are completed before the marriage, while postnuptial agreements are formulated after the couple has already said, “I do.” Prenups allow marrying couples to outline their assets and properties, explaining how they would be divided in the instance of divorce. This is important for couples who have large assets as well as those who have small savings accounts. Every asset and property will be divided during a divorce, so even small savings accounts could help you get back on your feet.

Postnups allow married couples to do the same thing as prenups; however, they can sometimes be more helpful. Because prenups are signed before the marriage is official, some of the terms being outlined on the agreement can seem abstract. Because things change after you get married, postnuptial agreements can feel more realistic and concrete. Postnups allow you to divide your current assets in the case of divorce. After getting married, the life you built together will include significantly more finances and properties than you had beforehand. A postnup allows you and your spouse to divide these between the two of you however you see fit. While it may seem odd to plan your potential divorce after years of marriage, it can often soothe the mind of each spouse, knowing that the division of the life they built together could be under their control if necessary.

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Homewood prenuptial agreement attorney

Prenuptial agreements are not mandatory within an Illinois marriage, but any engaged couple that has personal or business assets may want to protect what is theirs before getting married.

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement that both you and your future spouse construct before getting married. This agreement lays out how property and assets will be divided if divorce or death were to occur. Items that can be included within a prenuptial agreement include:

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Markham family law attorney postnuptial agreementAlmost everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement. Most of what many people know comes from movies or television shows portraying a woman marrying a wealthy man and signing a prenuptial agreement to protect his riches. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements come from the same family of legal documents and can do just about the same things. Both agreements can dictate which property is and is not marital property, how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce and the terms of spousal maintenance, among other things. The thing that differs between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is when the agreement is signed. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the wedding and a postnuptial agreement is signed after the wedding. Here are a couple of situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement:

  1. You Did Not Have Time to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement: One of the most common reasons why couples get postnuptial agreements is because they either did not or could not sign a prenuptial agreement before they were married. A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is why it is a popular option for those who found the idea of a prenuptial agreement unromantic or those who did not have enough time before the wedding to create one.
  2. Circumstances Have Changed During the Marriage: There are a variety of reasons why a married couple might want to get a prenuptial agreement, most of them stemming from the fact that their circumstances may have changed during the marriage. For example, coming into an unexpected inheritance or winning a large sum of money can prompt a couple to want to reexamine their finances. Another reason could be because one spouse unexpectedly decided to take time off of work to care for and raise the couple’s children. This puts that spouse in a more vulnerable financial position and a postnuptial agreement could promise support if the spouses were to ever divorce. 

Whatever the Reason, You Need a Homewood, IL, Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer by Your Side

If you did not get a prenuptial agreement before you were married, it is not too late. You can still get a postnuptial agreement at any time after your marriage, and it can be used much like a prenuptial agreement. There are many situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement, which is why you should call a Will County postnuptial agreement attorney to discuss your situation. At The Foray Firm, we understand that a postnuptial agreement could be the key to a happy marriage. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

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BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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