Getting married is more than just an emotional commitment. In the eyes of the law, it is a financial commitment as well. A postnuptial agreement can provide peace of mind for those who want to retain control over their assets no matter what the future may bring. While you have probably heard of prenuptial agreements, you may be unfamiliar with what a postnuptial agreement is or what it does. This important legal document can prove highly useful, but you should understand how it works in order to prepare one that has the best chance of being legally enforceable.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement and both are considered legally binding contracts in Illinois. Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement details how various issues are to be dealt with should a couple divorce, including such key issues as property division, spousal maintenance, and so on. The one key difference, however, is that a postnuptial agreement is prepared and signed after the couple marries.
Why get one?
There are many practical reasons for getting a postnuptial agreement. For example, if you have children from a previous relationship you may want to sign a postnuptial agreement to ensure that your children receive a share of your assets should your current marriage come to an end. In some cases, a postnuptial agreement is used to try to save a marriage. One spouse, for example, may be more willing to work on his or her marriage if his or her assets are protected in a postnuptial agreement. For many people, however, a postnuptial agreement simply gives them greater control over their lives and greater peace of mind for the future.
Preparing for a postnuptial agreement
While a postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that does not mean that all postnuptial agreements are therefore legally enforceable. As with other types of contracts, a postnuptial agreement can be challenged in court, especially if the terms of the contract are not in the public interest. Additionally, postnuptial agreements must meet various legal and technical requirements, which is why both spouses should have a family law attorney advise them on any postnuptial agreement they are preparing to sign. An attorney can advise you on a postnuptial agreement in many ways, including making sure that such an agreement is in your best interests and by ensuring that it is more likely to hold up in court.
We have extensive experience advising clients on postnuptial agreements. If you are looking to prepare a postnuptial agreement or if you just want us to give you advice on an agreement that has already been drafted, we can help. Contact us today to learn how a postnuptial agreement may be in your family’s best interests.