Even though the divorce rate has stabilized over the past several years, many marriages will end in divorce. Therefore, creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is one of the smartest steps a couple can take. These agreements can stabilize marriages and help both spouses feel more confident moving forward with the relationship.
Prenuptial Agreements Promote Financial Honesty
One of the biggest risk factors for a divorce is disagreement about money. A common problem is when one spouse tries to hide expenses or money from the other spouse. When a couple decides to have a prenuptial agreement, they will need to have an open and honest conversation about money. The actual agreement itself can even give both sides an extra incentive to be honest about money throughout the marriage. The more honesty and clear communication there is about finances early on in a marriage, the more likely the marriage will last.
Prenuptial Agreements Make Both Spouses More Secure
No one should ever feel compelled to stay in a marriage just because he or she is afraid of what would happen financially in a divorce. A well drafted prenuptial agreement can spell out the property division for both spouses in the event of a divorce. This can help both partners feel secure in ending a relationship that is not working. It can also help reduce the financial costs of a divorce because the property issues will already be settled.
Postnuptial Agreements Help Protect Assets
Even if you skipped getting a prenuptial agreement, in Illinois you and your spouse can enter into a postnuptial agreement. These agreements may be beneficial even if neither spouse has any desire to breakup the marriage.
A postnuptial agreement can be used to protect significant assets acquired after a marriage or to make sure both spouses understand how any assets will be divided if a divorce should be pursued in the future. These agreements work well to help make sure family businesses and other closely held assets are not destroyed by a divorce—something that would not benefit either spouse.
Postnuptial Agreements Can Correct Earlier Mistakes
Under Illinois law, almost all property acquired after the start of the marriage is considered marital property. Even property that is legally excluded from marital property can become marital property by commingling.
A postnuptial agreement can be used to correct earlier mistakes in the commingling of assets. These agreements can help make sure each spouse keeps the property he or she brought into the marriage or any inheritance, even if these assets are commingled during the marriage.
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you need to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today at 630-665-7676 to schedule a consultation.