Benefits to Creating a Postnuptial Agreement in Illinois

Planning for your life is important when you are getting married. You want to ensure that you can create a stable home with your new spouse. It is important to consider budget and expense needs, living requirements, plans for children, and many other details. One thing that many couples may not plan for is the possibility of divorce.

While you may not want to anticipate the end of a marriage when you are first getting married, it is crucial to be prepared. There are several options that Illinois couples have when creating a post-marriage plan. If they plan far enough ahead, they can create a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. For couples who choose not to create a prenuptial agreement, but want additional protection after they are married, they have the option to create a postnuptial agreement. An accomplished Will County divorce attorney can help you create a strong, fair postnuptial agreement.

Benefits to creating a postnuptial agreement in Illinois

The Basics of Post-Marriage Agreements in Illinois

Preparing for a marriage should include planning for the possibility of divorce. It is important to ensure that assets are divided fairly and the needs of both spouses are met. There are two primary ways that a couple can be prepared in the event of a divorce. Both agreements essentially accomplish the same things but are done at different points in time.

  • Prenuptial Agreement: This is a legally binding agreement that a couple creates prior to their marriage. It will be considered legally binding when the marriage is official.
  • Postnuptial Agreement: This is also a legally binding agreement, but it is not created until after the marriage. It can accomplish most of the same things as a prenuptial agreement.

While couples do not anticipate a divorce when getting married, it is important to be prepared. You should also know what protections to put in place. Postnuptial agreements are a great option for married couples who want to ensure a divorce is fair.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding document that outlines a couple’s plans if they divorce. These agreements allow a couple to determine, among other matters, how:

  • They want their assets divided.
  • A formerly stay-at-home parent will be provided for.
  • Any gifts will be repaid.
  • Business interests will be divided.

A postnuptial agreement is a contract that allows a couple to protect themselves if their marriage ends, just like a prenuptial agreement. There are several reasons why a postnuptial agreement may be more beneficial than a prenuptial agreement.

Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement accomplish the same things. However, there are certain circumstances where a postnuptial agreement is more beneficial. Some of the most common circumstances are:

  • Reconciliation: A couple is attempting to reconcile their marriage. However, they want additional protection if the reconciliation does not work. In that case, they may create a postnuptial agreement.
  • Modification: A couple signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. However, circumstances have changed, and it needs to be modified. A postnuptial agreement can accomplish that.
  • Inheritance: If one spouse receives an unexpected inheritance, they may create a postnuptial agreement to protect it in the event of a divorce.
  • Outside Expectations: In some circumstances, a spouse who is involved in a family-owned business may be required to create a postnuptial agreement. This ensures that the business is protected if they divorce their spouse.

Regardless of the reasons, a postnuptial agreement can be an invaluable tool. It allows couples to protect themselves and their assets in case the marriage ends.


Q: Does Illinois Recognize Postnuptial Agreements?

A: Illinois recognizes postnuptial agreements in most cases. There are only a few circumstances under which a postnuptial agreement would not be upheld or recognized by the courts. One would be if it is considered unconscionable or violates public policy. An example would be a postnuptial agreement that keeps the courts from determining child support or custody details. The agreement could also be considered unconscionable if it was written under duress or is unfair to one party.

Q: What Are the Cons of a Postnuptial Agreement?

A: Postnuptial agreements can have many benefits for couples, but they should be created very carefully. These agreements are legally binding and cannot be easily eliminated. When a couple is creating their postnuptial agreement, it is important that they both consider and read the document carefully to avoid sacrificing rights or needs. Another disadvantage of a postnuptial agreement is that it could potentially be considered void. If the agreement is not created properly, then the courts will not recognize or enforce it.

Q: Are Postnuptial Agreements Legally Binding?

A: Postnuptial agreements are legally binding if they are valid. There are several stipulations that must be met for a postnuptial agreement to be considered valid. First, it must be in writing. Postnuptial agreements cannot be verbal agreements. Second, a valid postnuptial agreement must be signed by both parties to the marriage and include consideration for both parties. This means that each party gives something up to receive the benefits of the agreement.

Q: What Cannot Be Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?

A: Postnuptial agreements can include a wide variety of agreements and details, depending on the needs of the couple. The primary purpose of a postnuptial agreement is to divide assets equitably. It can also ensure that the needs of both spouses are met. Some of the most common things that are included in a valid postnuptial agreement are:

  • Asset division
  • Inheritance protection
  • Gift repayment
  • Provision for a stay-at-home spouse
  • Dividing interests in a business

A postnuptial agreement could also be used to keep a struggling marriage working. It can show that both spouses are dedicated to negotiating favorable post-divorce terms.

Contact Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC

Postnuptial agreements can be an invaluable resource for married couples. They may find that they want protection in the event of a divorce, but they did not complete a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. These agreements are legally binding and must be crafted carefully to ensure that they are recognized by the courts. An experienced Will County divorce attorney can help you create a valid, equitable postnuptial agreement. Contact the team at Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, for your postnuptial agreement needs today.


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