Prenuptial agreements once had a reputation of only being important to celebrities or other extremely wealthy people with large fortunes to protect. In recent years, however, these agreements have become much more accessible and practical for marriages of all types and sizes.

There are many reasons why you and your soon-to-be spouse might choose to sign a prenuptial agreement. They can serve to protect large assets, of course, but they may also be used to iron out many legal issues that could arise between you and your spouse both during your marriage and in the event of divorce.

For help understanding, drafting, or enforcing a prenuptial agreement, look no further than the experienced attorneys at our firm for answers to all your questions and guidance through every step of the process.

The Basics of Prenuptial Agreements

In the past, anything purchased in contemplation of marriage—such as a home or car—would qualify as marital property and therefore be subject to division in a divorce. However, changes to Illinois law in the last several years established that only purchases made during marriage qualify as marital property. This is one reason why prenuptial agreements are becoming so much more widely used.

The main goal of a premarital agreement is to determine how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. They may address issues like:

  • The ability of you or your spouse to buy, sell, and/or trade property
  • Alimony (referred to as “maintenance” in Illinois)
  • Details related to the drafting of estate plans and ownership of any related benefits

It is important to note, however, that you cannot use a prenuptial agreement to determine terms related to child custody or child support. Those issues must ultimately be examined and decided on by a court, based on that court’s determination of the child’s best interests.

How Prenuptial Agreements Are Enforced

While prenuptial agreements can make the divorce process easier, they have to be enforceable in order to do so. Even when such agreements seem to comply with the law, there might be special considerations or elements within the agreement that make it unenforceable.

In order to be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed voluntarily by both parties. That means neither party can be coerced into signing the agreement or sign it under duress.

A prenuptial agreement is likely to be unenforceable if it unfairly benefits one party to the detriment of another. Additionally, part or all of a prenuptial agreement may be invalidated if certain provisions do not adhere to the law.

Because of the severity of these regulations, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney during the drafting and review process of a “prenup”. In addition to advocating for your rights, our qualified prenuptial agreement lawyers in Will County can also help ensure the agreement adheres to the nuances of prenuptial agreement law and precedent in Illinois

How Our Firm Can Help

Whether you are considering a prenuptial agreement or actively involved in drafting one, working with a seasoned lawyer is often an essential part of the process. Given the matters a prenuptial agreement may cover, there are typically too many important details involved to risk trying to navigate the process on your own—not to mention, itcould compromise your rights now and in the future.

Call today to learn more about how our firm could help you approach your Will County prenuptial agreement with confidence.