Chicago LGBTQ+ Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
Entering into a well-thought-out prenuptial agreement can be an intelligent move for LGBTQ+ couples planning to marry. A prenup can protect the assets and interests of both parties in case of divorce or separation. Speak with an experienced Chicago LGBTQ+ family law attorney to learn about the advantages of a prenuptial agreement. You can speak to us at (312) 332-2915 for assistance in this critical matter.
For any couple planning to marry, a prenuptial agreement allows for the disclosure of all financial information, including assets, debts, and income. It provides a way to address critical issues in advance, such as the division of marital property, alimony, and inheritance. Prenuptial agreements may be particularly useful for LGBTQ+ couples for several reasons, including the following:
- They may face unique issues related to marriage and divorce, including spousal support, child custody, and property division.
- Prenups can help LGBTQ+ couples clarify their rights and obligations in case of separation or divorce.
- Prenuptial agreements can provide protection for LGBTQ+ couples who live in states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals.
Many LGBTQ+ couples had lived together for years before they were legally able to marry. Illinois is an equitable distribution state. The duration of the marriage is one of the main factors courts consider in making decisions regarding property distribution and spousal support in a divorce. For an LGBTQ+ couple who were together long before same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois, the duration of the marriage begins with the date of marriage in the eyes of the court. A prenuptial agreement allows the parties to come to a fair agreement on these issues without relying on the court's judgment.
Prenuptial agreements allow couples to decide which premarital property will become part of the marriage, separate business from marital assets, protect property from a previous marriage (often for the sake of children), and reduce time, money, and stress in case the marriage does not work out. Matters that can be addressed in a prenup include:
- Division of property and assets acquired during the marriage
- Treatment of separate property acquired before the marriage
- Payment of spousal support or alimony
- Allocation of debts and liabilities
- Establishment of trusts and estate plans
- Distribution of retirement benefits and pensions
To be effective, prenuptial agreements must be valid and enforceable. In Illinois:
- A prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties.
- Neither party can be forced or coerced to sign the agreement – they must both enter into it voluntarily.
- A prenuptial agreement signed by a party under the influence of alcohol, or signed immediately before the wedding, may not hold up in court.
- Neither party to a prenup may hide assets or property from the other party.
- A prenuptial agreement must be entered into before the marriage takes place. LGBTQ+ couples who are already married may choose to enter into a postnuptial agreement.
- The terms of the agreement cannot be unconscionable. For example, if a prenup exempts one partner from paying alimony to the other partner, it must not create an undue hardship for the spouse that would otherwise receive support. As another example, it would not be enforceable for a parent to stipulate in a prenuptial agreement that they would not pay child support to the custodial parent.
We have focused only on divorce and family law in Chicago for over 30 years. Contact Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915 for skilled legal assistance with an LGBTQ+ prenuptial agreement.
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