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What Should an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Include?

Posted on in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

chicago prenup lawyerIn a previous post, we discussed common misconceptions about prenups. Now that you know what a prenup is not, you may want to know what a prenup is. How far should a prenup go? Does a prenup last forever? Having an understanding of the basics of prenuptial agreements can help you prepare to negotiate a fair agreement that places your marriage on a firm footing. Everybody‚Äôs situation is unique, so be sure to ask your specific questions to a qualified Illinois prenuptial agreement attorney. 

What Can I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

  • Premarital debts and assets - The most common use of a prenuptial agreement is to protect assets that were owned by one spouse before getting married. It can also protect a spouse who does not have debt from having to pay it off after divorce. Spouses may continue the financial provisions of a prenup indefinitely, or agree to a gradual transfer of wealth after a certain number of years of marriage. 

  • Inheritance and family heirlooms - Although property received as a gift or inheritance is generally seen as personal property and is not subject to division in a divorce, spouses can protect themselves from accusations of commingling by specifically addressing gifts and inheritance in a prenup. 

  • Protecting children from previous marriages - Because a spouse is the first to inherit property unless stated otherwise, a prenup can ensure children from a previous marriage are financially cared for if their parent passes away. 

  • Marital responsibilities and expenses - Couples can detail which spouse will pay for certain expenses and how each spouse will contribute to savings or retirement accounts. 

What Should Not Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

Although a prenup can protect the inheritance of children from a previous marriage, issues related to children shared by the married couple must be decided at the time of the divorce. Child support, parenting time, and allocation of parental responsibilities cannot be determined in a prenup, and even if couples have signed a prenup addressing these issues, that portion of the agreement will be invalid if they get divorced. Children have a right to financial support from a parent, and that cannot be contracted away. 

Spouses also should not include provisions that would make a prenuptial agreement unenforceable. If a prenup causes one spouse to suffer from serious financial distress, such as placing them in need of public assistance, or is otherwise severely unfair, this may cause the entire prenup to be discarded in a divorce. 

Speak with a Rolling Meadows Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C., we are committed to helping you negotiate and write a fair prenuptial agreement that protects your interests and starts your marriage on the right foot. From advice about what to include in your prenup to drawing up the final draft, we will be here for you every step of the way. Place your confidence in the experience of a friendly and skilled Skokie, IL prenuptial agreement attorney and contact our office today to schedule your free limited consultation by phone or in person. Call us at 312-984-1514





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