A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Is Sensible Marital Planning

Posted on in Family law

Most people are familiar with the concept of a “prenuptial agreement.” A legally binding agreement between two prospective spouses, a prenuptial agreement stipulates in advance how the assets and liabilities of the soon-to-be-married couple will be distributed in the event the marriage ends in divorce. Such agreements are relatively common when there is a sizeable age or wealth gap between prospective spouses, or when children from previous unions will be brought together by the new marriage.

Despite the statistic that between 40 and 50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce, prenuptial agreements remain a rather touchy subject, perhaps because they are perceived as “unromantic” – the possible end of the marriage is the last thing one wants to contemplate prior to uttering the words “til death do us part.” Given the statistics, such a dismissive attitude is problematic. Prenuptial agreements, and their post-union counterpart, postnuptial agreements, are worth giving serious consideration to. With the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, it is possible to craft a pre- or postnuptial agreement without introducing excessive tension into a relationship. Really, it is just sensible planning.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Are Legal Contracts

Because prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts much like any other – a meeting of the minds in the form of offer and acceptance, and supplemented with consideration – it is imperative that one rely on an experienced family law attorney to do the drafting of the contract. Moreover, if tension does arise in the process of contemplating and executing a pre- or postnuptial agreement, an attorney certified in mediation will work to bring everyone together towards a mutually agreeable resolution.

A postnuptial agreement was recently at issue in the true-life, top-rated podcast, Dirty John, in which one spouse, a wealthy and successful interior designer, explores a postnuptial agreement designed to ensure that her children (rather than her increasingly not-who-he-seems husband) would benefit from her sizeable estate. The issue of the agreement was ultimately proved moot, but the woman was wise to take the first step: contacting a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Sensible Planning is a Part of Life

Whether you are about to enter a marital union or planning from within an existing union, an attorney who is experienced in drafting pre- and postnuptial agreements will be of great assistance. A professionally drafted agreement compliant with all formalities required by Illinois state law will bring peace of mind as to the future of your estate. Contact a West Chicago family law attorney at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.