When young couples marry they may not feel that they need a prenuptial agreement since neither spouse has significant assets to protect. However, after years of marriage, many couples begin to see the wisdom of having an agreement in place to address issues related to their increasingly complex finances and property especially if there are children involved.
Certainly if there is trouble brewing in the marriage, a postnuptial agreement can eliminate some of the uncertainty regarding finances and property so a couple can concentrate on the marriage before deciding whether or not to divorce. Having a clear picture of what is or what will be can help couples make informed decisions about their future.
A post nuptial can specify that certain assets are separate property that one spouse will own even if there is a divorce or detail how certain assets will be allocated in the marital property division process. Couples can also make decisions regarding spousal maintenance that would be payable in a divorce, setting the amount and duration or waiving the option all together.
Situations where a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement are a good idea may include:
- Where one spouse brings significant assets or a separate business into the marriage or starts a separate business after the date of marriage.
- If a couple decides to start a family and one spouse gives up a career or work to raise the children, it is important to have an agreement in place that will allow a stay at home mom or dad to have the resources they need such as the family home or spousal maintenance, to provide for their children and themselves in the event of a divorce.
- Parents who have children from a previous relationship may wish to protect their children’s right to receive certain assets as inheritance. If a couple divorces, or in the event of one spouse’s death, the agreement can state that certain assets will not be divided (in a divorce) or that a surviving spouse will not inherit those assets, but instead they will go to the children.
As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. While some couples may not see the benefit of a prenuptial agreement before getting married, many realize why it is important to have an agreement in place as they accumulate wealth during the marriage or have children they want to provide for. When you have questions regarding Illinois prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, contact the family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates for more information today at 847-495-6000.