Illinois Post-Nuptial Agreements
A post-nuptial agreement is similar to a pre-nuptial agreement. The basic difference between the two is that a post-nuptial agreement is created after the couple enters a civil union or marriage, rather than before. The most common purpose of a post-nuptial is to assign the division of assets, should the couple decide to get a divorce or separate. The agreement can also be implemented in the event of a spouse’s death.
Some couples decide to forego signing a pre-nuptial agreement, which is only valid if entered before the couple gets married. In such a case, they still have the option to draft a post-nuptial agreement. This agreement assures assets are divided in terms that the couple agrees on. For example, property, finances, and vehicles can be assigned to either member to avoid a dispute in the case of a divorce. The agreement can help determine which items are marital property and which are personal property. Items like wills, trusts, child custody and spousal support can also be dictated in a post-nuptial agreement.
It is important to remember that a post-nuptial agreement is a legal contract, meaning neither party can back out of it later because they didn’t understand it. For that reason, it is imperative to seek legal council before signing a post-nuptial agreement. Without close inspection of the contract, spouses may be forced to forfeit rightfully owned property. Therefore, it’s in each party’s best interest to thoroughly inspect and prepare the document with their lawyer’s aid. Legal council can also assure the draft is drawn appropriately, which will eliminate the chance of the agreement being found void during the divorce proceedings.
Not all divorce-related problems can be solved with post-nuptial agreements. If public policy impedes on the agreement, then it may not be enforced. For example, even if the agreement asserts child custody be given to a certain party, custody may not be granted if it’s not in the child’s best interest. In order for the post-nuptial agreement to be honored in court, it must be voluntarily signed by each spouse.
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Post-nuptial agreements are just one element of the often-arduous divorce process. Let us help you protect your rights. If you have questions about entering into a post-nuptial agreement, or any other inquiries about family law, please contact one of the experienced lawyers at Nottage and Ward, LLP. We can be reached at (312) 332-2915.
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