Can Entering into a Postnuptial Agreement Actually Save Your Marriage?
Although prenuptial agreements often evoke sensational headlines or solicit spirited conversations of couples entering into high asset marriages, surprisingly, a well drafted postnuptial agreement may actually save a marriage.
Although different in nature than a prenuptial, the postnuptial serves as a goal-orientated plan to weather the marital shifts evident throughout the life of a marriage.
By entering into a sound postnuptial agreement, couples often avoid financial and stress-producing conflicts in the event of a divorce or the uncertainties of the future in the event a spouse passes unexpectedly.
This type of agreement also provides an additional layer of protection with regard to estate planning and can alleviate discussions of the division of marital property in either instances. By preparing for either one of these circumstances, couples may find more time to concentrate on building a strong relationship and a healthy marriage.
If you reside in the Illinois and are considering consulting with an Illinois family law attorney regarding the initiation of a postnuptial agreement, you have every legal right to enter into such contract under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 65/6). To gain a generalized insight as to what to expect, the following information may prove an asset.
Why Opt for a Postnuptial Agreement?
As with many married couples, the financial status and earning potential of one spouse may trump the other. Earning potential or the decision to become the “stay-at-home” parent plays a significant role on a couple’s finances which may weigh heavily on the health of the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can lessen the intensity of these factors on the marriage and for each spouse, as they will know exactly what to expect in the event of a divorce or death.
A postnuptial agreement may also be designated as a spousal waiver of benefits from a retirement account or may lay the groundwork for the division and distribution of property in the event of divorce or passing of one spouse.
Guidelines for Creating a Postnuptial Agreement
Drafting a postnuptial agreement does not hinge on drafting a prenuptial as a prerequisite. For both legal documents, validity depends only on two conditions:
- The contract must be drafted under “full disclosure” of both spouses without evidence of fraud, misrepretation or duress. All financial information must be disclosed and include income level amounts as well as assets and liabilities; and
- Legal representation requires the services of two separate family law attorneys.Without proper legal representation prior to the signing of the agreement, the court may not uphold the agreement, and claim an unfair assessment or contract made under duress. All contracts are to be signed in the presence of a licensed notary to be considered a viable contract.
Historically, the postnuptial agreement was once reserved for couples on the verge of collapse, but in recent years it has been gaining in popularity. If you would like to discuss your options with a Geneva family law attorney, contact the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Assoc. at 630-232-9700 to schedule your personal consultation today.