When Can a Postnuptial Agreement Be a Good Idea?

Illinois postnuptial agreementsA postnuptial agreement is a legal document that a couple can enter into after they are married. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is signed before a couple becomes legally married. A postnuptial agreement, or “postnup” may outline how assets and debts will be divided and other financial matters will be handled in the event of a separation or divorce. By understanding the benefits of a postnuptial agreement and working with an attorney to create and execute a document that will be valid and enforceable, couples can make sure they have the necessary protections in place if they decide to end their marriage in the future.

Why You May Want to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement

There are several reasons why couples might consider entering into a postnuptial agreement, including:

  1. A change in wealth or power dynamics: If one spouse experiences an increase in the income they earn or the assets they own, it may be wise to have a postnuptial agreement in place to protect those assets. An agreement may address ownership of an inheritance, income earned following a promotion, or investments that a couple has made during the marriage.

  2. Assignment of debt: If one spouse has taken on significant debt during the couple’s marriage, a postnuptial agreement can ensure that the other spouse does not become responsible for repaying these amounts after a divorce or separation.

  3. Changes affecting spouses: Sometimes, life circumstances may change significantly over the course of a couple’s marriage. For example, one spouse may decide to become a stay-at-home parent, and they may want to make sure they can continue serving in this role if they get divorced. A postnuptial agreement can offer security by specifying that a stay-at-home parent will receive spousal support so they will be able to address their ongoing financial needs.

  4. Protecting a business: If either spouse is a business owner, they may want to make sure they will be able to continue operating their business successfully in the future, even if their marriage ends in divorce. With a postnup, ownership of a business can be addressed, and arrangements can be made for a fair division of property that will allow for either sole or joint ownership of the business after the end of a couple’s marriage.

  5. Estate planning purposes: A postnuptial agreement can also include some provisions addressing how money or assets may be distributed to parties other than the couple. In cases where spouses want to make sure children (including children from previous relationships) are provided for, a postnup may state that some assets will be set aside for children rather than divided between the couple during a divorce.

Benefits of Having a Postnuptial Agreement

There are several benefits that a postnup may provide, including:

  • Clarity and communication: Creating a postnuptial agreement requires open and honest discussions about financial matters. This process can help couples better understand each other's expectations and goals.

  • Protection of assets: A well-crafted postnuptial agreement can protect the assets spouses have worked hard to acquire before and during their marriage.

  • Reduced legal costs and stress in divorce proceedings: In the event of divorce, having a postnuptial agreement that clearly defines how certain issues will be handled can streamline the legal process, reducing time spent in court and legal fees related to negotiating settlements and resolving disputes.

  • Predictability: A postnuptial agreement can set expectations for how financial matters will be handled if a couple’s relationship ends. This can reduce uncertainty during emotionally challenging times.

  • Fairness to both parties: By outlining specific terms for asset and debt distribution, support obligations, and other related issues, both spouses can make sure they will have sufficient resources, no matter what happens in the future.

Contact Our DuPage County Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers

A postnuptial agreement can be a valuable tool for married couples. It can protect their financial interests and provide peace of mind in the event of separation or divorce. However, it is important to note that postnuptial agreements are not suitable for every couple. They require open communication and a mutual understanding of each spouse's rights and responsibilities. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Wheaton family law attorney who can provide guidance on how to make sure a postnup will be enforceable under Illinois law and how to create a workable agreement that will be satisfactory for both parties.

If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, or if you need to understand how an existing agreement may affect your divorce, contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC at 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Our team has extensive experience in marital agreements and other family law matters, and we will provide personalized legal help and representation based on your specific situation.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree