Though we mostly hear about “prenups” in tabloids and on TV, you don’t need to be a celebrity to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. If you think you may want an Illinois prenuptial agreement, read further to understand the benefits of having one in the state of Illinois.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?
Also called a marriage agreement, this commonly used contract offers protection for couples planning to legally mix their interests through the action of marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement that provides that you can keep the assets you want, or disavow the debt you don’t want. Couples who enter into divorce proceedings without a preexisting marital agreement are subject to Illinois divorce laws and ultimately the determination of the family court judge assigned to their case. While the non-marital property may be protected without a prenuptial agreement in Illinois, it is better to stipulate in advance to state what is non-martial.
Creating an Illinois prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean a couple lacks trust in one another. On the contrary, it shows a commitment to openness and transparency, and maintaining an honest discussion about the future.
Did you know?
Couples in Illinois who aren’t legally married still have the ability to create a type of a pre-commitment contract called a cohabitation agreement.
All couples have a unique set of reasons to create a prenuptial agreement, but a few fundamental factors usually drive the decision. These center mostly on financial concerns during and/or after the marriage. Prenuptial agreements outline where financial responsibilities will lie for each partner, in addition to the distribution of assets in case of a divorce or death. Older adults who have children from a prior relationship, often want a prenup to ensure that assets accrued before the marriage will still go to their children upon their death.
Benefits of an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement
1. Prenuptial agreements delineate financial obligations.
Often included in an Illinois prenuptial agreement is a section that addresses what financial obligations each person will accept in the context of the marriage. This could include provisions related to household and living expenses the couple incurs during the course of the marriage.
Additionally, these agreements almost always include a section that outlines how assets will be divided in the case of dissolution. The couple can make an agreement about what, if any, spousal support (also known as maintenance) will be provided in case of a divorce.
Illinois prenuptial agreements can greatly expedite the process of a divorce settlement. Unless a family court judge finds that one or both parties misrepresented their assets or otherwise entered the agreement in bad faith, the court will generally abide by the terms set out in the marriage agreement.
2. Prenuptial agreements protect assets.
The same way marriage agreements outline how assets such as homes, vehicles and other property will be allocated in case of divorce, a marriage agreement can be used to deliberately protect assets during and after marriage.
Whether it’s a sizeable inheritance, generational family home or sentimental classic car, some people decide to include a provision in their marriage agreement that attests to their sole ownership of an item. This means the other party has no claim to the asset.
3. Partitions out large debts.
This provision works in reverse, as well, for those who want to partition out significant debts. Couples can agree that, in case of divorce, the person who brought certain sizable debt into the marriage will be solely responsible for it after dissolution.
To learn more about our Illinois prenuptial agreements, call our experienced Orland Park family law attorneys at 815-600-8950 or contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.