A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a premarital agreement or a “prenup”, is a contract between two people intending to marry that outlines the manner in which financial issues would be handled in the event their marriage dissolves. Once regarded as a tool for the rich, prenuptial agreements are now used by couples from all walks of life to simplify matters in case of divorce.

While many believe that marriage preparation should be a joyous time unpolluted by thoughts of divorce, crafting a reasonable and well-thought-out prenuptial agreement may spare you and your spouse some of the headaches and heartaches that accompany marital dissolution.

A Joliet prenuptial agreement lawyer from Reidy Law Office LLC could help you identify your goals for the process so that the resulting contract reflects your needs and priorities. We are experienced in drafting such contracts, and we have helped many couples find peace of mind by deciding on issues such as alimony, property division, and child custody and support. One of our capable family law attorneys could pursue a positive outcome for you.

Scope of Prenuptial Agreements in Joliet

Illinois has adopted the tenets of the federal Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) as the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (IUPAA). Among other focuses, it sets forth the matters that prenuptial agreements in Illinois may address, which include:

  • Each spouse’s ownership of property upon divorce
  • Each spouse’s right to buy, sell, use, transfer, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property
  • Whether a spouse receives alimony following divorce, including the amount and the duration of payments
  • The creation of a will to carry out the terms of an agreement
  • Either spouse’s ownership rights in the death benefit from the other spouse’s life insurance policy
  • Which state’s law will apply to the agreement if a dispute arises
  • Any other matter that does not violate the law or public policy (e.g., the right of a child to support may not be adversely impacted)

A prenuptial agreement lawyer in Joliet could answer any questions that you may have concerning the aforementioned factors and could even work with you to amend or revoke your prenuptial agreement, if desired or required.

Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

The IUPAA also provides guidelines for how courts determine whether a prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable. In accordance with these rules, a court may not enforce the agreement if one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • One spouse did not enter into the agreement voluntarily (i.e. it was signed under duress for example, it is presented moments before the wedding)
  • The agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support, causing undue hardship for the affected spouse
  • The agreement is unconscionable (i.e., extremely unjust), as before its execution one spouse was not provided fair and reasonable disclosure of the other spouse’s assets, and they neither waived their right to it nor could have discovered the information in any other manner

When Could a Prenuptial Agreement Be Useful?

Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful for couples with uncommon or complicated marital situations. For example, relationships in which you and/or your spouse wish to preserve significant assets brought to the marriage—such as real estate, business holdings, and retirement accounts—may benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Also, if you have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement could help protect their future inheritance.

As another example, you may want to plan ahead regarding what would happen to property that you plan to acquire with your significant other during your marriage. While your property, assets, and debts could be divided by a court should your marriage dissolve, crafting your own prenuptial agreement would allow you and your partner the power to decide who gets what, as opposed to leaving that determination to the discretion of a judge.

Consulting a Joliet Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

The experienced Joliet prenuptial agreement lawyers at Reidy Law Office are dedicated to helping Joliet residents negotiate and draft agreements that are both equitable and in compliance with the law. Call 708-572-0759 today and let our knowledgeable attorneys draw up an agreement that is customized for your needs.