In Illinois, couples must consider the implications of entering a “premarital agreement” or “prenuptial agreement.” This type of written contract can outline how financial matters will be handled during their marriage and how property, assets, and financial obligations will be divided if a divorce occurs or if one spouse dies. Moreover, these agreements are governed by their legislation – The Illinois Premarital Agreement Act.
For some couples, a prenuptial agreement makes the most sense for their circumstances. But what happens to future assets in a divorce?
Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, are legal documents that establish the terms and conditions of a marriage before the wedding. A prenup can give couples peace of mind by ensuring that each partner’s assets are protected if they decide to separate or divorce. While a prenup is a valuable tool for protecting assets, it is essential to remember that courts can sometimes invalidate them if the agreement is deemed unfair or signed under duress.
Illinois law outlines the legality of pre and post-marital agreements, however, it is important for individuals and couples to consult with a lawyer regarding specific assets, joint businesses, or complex property ownership to ensure protection.
Couples should take extra care to ensure their prenuptial agreement covers all relevant points and does not contain any clauses that may be open for interpretation or dispute. The assistance of a qualified family law attorney can significantly improve the outcome of creating an effective agreement between spouses to protect assets and relay clear communication and expectations.
Drawing the line between separate and marital property is undoubtedly one of the defining features of many prenups. Couples and individuals can designate their current possessions (including potential wins, income, retirement plans, inheritance, dividends, etc.) and foresee future net worths.
These prenups set out which items will remain solely a part of one spouse’s possession or become shared property. Furthermore, papers can outline an individual’s use/sale/holding power over specific holdings and ask both parties to arrange wills in compliance with the document. This detailed approach also applies to debt liability; amid entering a marriage with disparate financial statuses, this document can collectively protect both spouses from creditors’ claims against them.
Entering into a post-marital or postnuptial agreement in Illinois is a tactful step that all married couples should consider. By doing so, both spouses can secure the financial protection and legal rights that best suit their interests in the face of any potential divorce or death during the marriage. Beyond indicating how particular issues should be dealt with regarding money matters during a marriage and upon divorce or death, these agreements also answer specific questions, such as which property and assets belong to each spouse and how much alimony or spousal support will be paid.
The experienced divorce and family law attorneys at SLG Family Law understand that life events can cause couples to reassess their financial future together. A postnuptial agreement coupled with proper disclosure of financials is a valuable tool that can put teams in control of how the assets are allocated upon separation or the death of either spouse.
Understanding how to protect assets, present and future, is a process a qualified attorney focused on within family law can help individuals and couples organize. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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