As should be expected, most couples who decide to marry believe that their marriage will last until “death do them part.” Unfortunately, as we all know, this is not the case for many couples, as nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. While preparing for a divorce may seem counter-intuitive prior to even getting married, in many situations it is wise for couples to come to an agreement regarding their rights and obligations should the marriage end in divorce. A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or “prenup,” is especially important if one or both parties are entering the marriage with substantial assets or property.
To be enforced at a later date, premarital agreements must follow certain formalities and guidelines set out by Illinois law. For example, the agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parties without any coercion on the part of either party. To avoid any future conflicts, you should always consult with an experienced Illinois family law attorney if you think you may want to draft a premarital agreement.
What Can Go into a Prenup?
The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act states that the following subjects may be addressed in a premarital agreement:
- The rights and obligations of both parties regarding any property;
- The right of one or both parties to sell, use, buy, lease, abandon, exchange, transfer, assign, mortgage, consume, dispose of, or otherwise control or manage any type of property;
- How property will be separated or disposed of if the parties separate or divorce, if one person dies, or if any other specified event happens;
- Whether there will be spousal support from one party to another following a separation or divorce;
- Drafting a trust, will or other agreement in line with the premarital agreement;
- Who gets the benefits of a life insurance policy if one person dies;
- Which court of law will decide any later conflicts or disputes regarding the premarital agreement; and
- Any other subject, as long as it is not illegal or against any public policy.
A wide array of issues may be decided in a premarital agreement, from who keeps certain assets to what will happen if one spouse is unfaithful. On the other hand, the law prohibits a couple from limiting or eliminating child support in a premarital agreement.
Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer for Help
If you believe you may want a premarital agreement, you should always discuss the matter with an Illinois attorney who is familiar with this type of agreement. A lawyer may even alert you to red flags or other issues that should likely be addressed in a prenup that you would have never realized on your own. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call (877) 889-4515 to schedule a consultation with Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today.