You may have heard of prenuptial agreements, which are commonly referred to as prenups, and may even be familiar with their scope and function. Postnuptial agreements, which might achieve similar objectives, may not be as well-known.

Just as a prenuptial agreement is created in anticipation of marriage, a postnuptial agreement may be created following marriage. While thoughts of divorce soon after a marriage begins may not be considered romantic, having a postnuptial agreement in place could simplify and enrich your relationship, allowing you and your spouse to speak meaningfully and come to a consensus about financial and child-related concerns. A Joliet postnuptial agreement lawyer could help you do just that.

You could gain a better sense of your spouse’s values by creating a postnuptial agreement, and if you and your spouse eventually part ways, you may be grateful that you hashed out issues while you were both calm and sensible. Let one of our knowledgeable marital agreement attorneys in Joliet help you.

Scope and Enforceability of Postnuptial Agreements in Joliet

Under Section 502 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the “Act”), postnuptial agreements may address:

  • Disposition of property owned by either spouse
  • Maintenance of either spouse
  • Allocation of responsibility for a companion animal

The terms of such a contract are typically binding unless the court finds that the contract is unconscionable (i.e., extremely unjust) after considering you and your spouse’s economic circumstances. The same exception may apply if your agreement requires you or your spouse to commit an act in violation of the law or public policy.

Note that Illinois courts do not allow parties to have final say about child support or custody for minor children. 750 ILCS 5/505 establishes specific rules for courts in that regard that hold the best interests of the child as paramount, and not necessarily by any currently existing and valid postnuptial agreement. For more information, reach out to a dedicated Joliet postnuptial agreement lawyer.

Effective Uses of Postnuptial Agreements

There are many situations where a postnuptial agreement may be particularly useful, aside from the previous interest in a prenuptial agreement that failed to materialize before the marriage occurred. For example, if you put your career on hold to become a stay-at-home parent, you may want to establish some degree of financial security in the event of a divorce, especially if you plan to be away from the workforce for an extended period of time.

In the same vein, a postnuptial agreement may be of service if you or your spouse would like to consider a new asset or debt as separate property after a divorce. For instance, embarking on a new business venture. If you create a business using marital money during the marriage, it is considered a marital asset that will be divided the same as any other asset. If you have partners, employees, or investors, these third parties could be financially ruined if the divorce is contested.

Sometimes, spouses may come to realize that their views concerning the management of money differ greatly and want to establish a formal agreement regarding what is expected of each party to the relationship. Finally, you may just be contemplating divorce and would like to save time and resources by agreeing on how the property would be divided up in the event that you and your spouse ultimately separate.

Use an Experienced Joliet Postnuptial Agreement Attorney as a Resource

If you are interested in learning how a postnuptial agreement could strengthen your marriage or would like to know more about the related contract requirements that must be satisfied under Illinois state law, we invite you to contact us at Reidy Law Office LLC. Call a Joliet postnuptial agreement lawyer today at (708) 942-8428 to set up your consultation.