Northbrook, IL Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer

Attorney for Marital Agreements in Chicago's North Shore

You may not find the idea of deciding who keeps what should you ever divorce before you even get married very romantic. Most engaged couples do not. It is understandable that people do not want to think about what would happen if they got divorced before even making it down the aisle. However, there is so much more to a prenuptial agreement than planning for divorce. There are also many aspects of a potential future divorce you cannot plan for in a premarital agreement, such as how child custody would be handled. If you have already said your "I do's," it is not too late. You can still use what is called a "postnuptial agreement," which generally covers the same topics a prenuptial agreement would.

At Sucharski Law Firm LLC, we believe that everyone who gets married should have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. First, putting together such an agreement can be a good test of the relationship. If you and your spouse are able to treat each other fairly and with respect while planning your hypothetical divorce, it is a very good sign that your divorce will remain hypothetical. However, with the contract in place, you still have the assurance that you are protected in case you do decide to divorce.

Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement

The benefits of making a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Peace of mind - You are free to leave your spouse any time you wish in the future, knowing that you are protected financially.
  • Ease of divorce - If your marriage ends in divorce, an existing legal agreement can make the process far, far easier.
  • Test of character - Observe the person you are about to marry during negotiations. Are they concerned with being fair to you? Are they trying to protect only themself? Are they willing to listen and compromise?
  • Estate planning - It is a little-known fact that a prenuptial agreement can help with estate planning if your marriage lasts until one of you passes away. You and your spouse can require each other to make a will naming each other as the primary beneficiary.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement Do?

There are limits on what a nuptial agreement can or cannot do. A pre or postnuptial agreement can:

  • Govern spousal support - You and your spouse can agree on whether one of you will pay spousal support. This can include language like, "if one of us is a stay-at-home parent" or "if one of us earns more than twice the other's income" to determine whether support will be paid, as well as the amount and duration of payments.
  • Control property division - You may make agreements regarding how your marital property should be divided up if you get divorced.
  • Estate planning - Your prenuptial agreement can detail what will happen if your marriage ends through the death of a spouse rather than divorce or separation. This can ensure that your assets will be distributed correctly to your children or other heirs in addition to your spouse.

However, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement cannot:

  • Leave one spouse destitute - An agreement so unfair that it would leave one spouse unable to provide for themselves should not be enforced.
  • Control child custody - All child custody issues must be decided based on what is in the best interest of the child at the time the case arises. Parents or prospective parents cannot make these decisions in advance. There is an incredibly high risk that the disfavored parent would become "trapped" in the marriage unwillingly for fear of losing their child.
  • Waive child support - A couple cannot agree that either party will be exempted from their child's right to receive financial support from both parents.

It is important to have good legal representation while you are working out a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Unrepresented parties are often taken advantage of.

Contact a North Shore Lawyer for Marital Agreements

Sucharski Law Firm LLC can protect your legal interests while drafting your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Our Chicago area marital agreement attorneys will strive to create a contract that adequately guards your financial interests. Contact us at 224-276-6776 to receive a complimentary consultation.

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