When to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement

When to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement

When to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements get a lot of press, but you may not be as familiar with the concept of a postnuptial agreement. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that typically direct the division of assets – and similar concerns – in the event the marriage ends in divorce (or that direct the division of assets upon death). These agreements are not necessarily the emotionally charged fireworks that the media would have you believe, and they do not indicate a lack of commitment to one’s marriage. Instead, such agreements are nothing more than legal contracts that help to guide what happens next in the event that there is a need for such guidance. 

Taking a less emotional view of postnuptial agreements can help you better understand what they are – and what they are not. If you have a concern regarding a postnuptial agreement, it’s time to consult with a dedicated Illinois divorce attorney who has considerable experience with these legally complicated matters. 

Prenuptial Agreements vs. Postnuptial Agreements

The primary difference between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement in Illinois is the matter of when the legal contract is executed (or when it is activated). Prenuptial agreements are created prior to divorce, and they go into effect as soon as the couple is married. Postnuptial agreements, on the other hand, go into effect when they are signed off on by both spouses (during their marriage). 

The Terms Addressed

The terms you can address in your postnuptial agreement parallel those addressed in prenuptial agreements, including:

  • Setting parameters regarding the division of marital property in the event of divorce.
  • Addressing the separate nature of specific properties and setting parameters regarding managing and/or engaging in transactions related to these specific properties
  • Setting parameters regarding alimony (or spousal support) in the event of divorce.
  • Creating a will or trust that addresses the matters determined in the postnuptial agreement and setting parameters regarding a life insurance policy’s death benefits

Terms that cannot be addressed in a postnuptial agreement include both parenting arrangements and child support (unless the support exceeds the state’s expectations). The State of Illinois always addresses matters related to children on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the children’s best interests at the time, which leaves these matters off-limits for postnuptial agreements. 

Common Reasons for Postnuptial Agreements

Some of the most common reasons for married couples to enter into postnuptial agreements include:

  • Addressing one spouse’s sacrifices to the other’s career throughout the marriage
  • Clarifying each spouse’s interest in a business acquired during the marriage
  • Making a show of good faith regarding a couple’s commitment to the marriage
  • Addressing the separate nature of a large inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage

Don’t Delay Consulting with an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney

The formidable Schaumburg divorce attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, dedicate their impressive practice to helping clients like you tackle concerns related to postnuptial agreements – and well beyond. To learn more about how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us today.





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