Postnuptial Agreements Help Plan for the Future
It is very common today to hear about couples, particularly those who are very wealthy or celebrities, refusing to marry without a prenuptial agreement. For many, it is rather understandable, as most prenuptial agreements help delineate which assets may or may not become part of the marital property along with other possible considerations. One of the potential drawbacks to relying solely on a prenuptial agreement, however, is that, by definition, the agreement must be finalized prior to the marriage. Unforeseen issues and opportunities that may develop over the course of the relationship may be better dealt with by means of a postnuptial agreement instead.
A postnuptial agreement is a cooperative effort between spouses to formally outline the responsibilities and obligations of each party. It is established after the marriage, and in some cases, many years after the beginning of the marriage. Like most prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement can help a couple prepare in the event of divorce, but more than that, such an agreement can contribute to a more fulfilling marital situation.
Take an Objective Look at the Marriage
In negotiating an effective postnuptial agreement, a responsible couple must be able to scrutinize their relationship, in order to balance each spouse’s contributions and needs. Doing so may allow couples to identify areas of strength as well as areas which may require some work and attention. The process alone can allow a couple to improve marital communication and reinvigorate a cooperative spirit, often increasing the quality of the marriage.
Commonly Covered Issues
Postnuptial agreements may include a wide variety of subjects but many couples approach the process with similar concerns. This is especially true for remarried couples or couples with children from previous relationships. Common postnuptial considerations include:
- Individually or jointly held assets or property;
- Individual or joint debt;
- Budgetary concerns between the spouses;
- Business earnings or risk;
- Future financial goals;
- Supporting children from a previous relationship; and
- Health issues, life insurance, and estate planning.
One of primary strengths of a postnuptial agreement is that it will be customized to address the unique needs of each couple. The parties can address issues important to them as individuals and together as a married couple. Additionally, the agreement is executed when the spouses are both committed to the success of the marriage, which may help minimize contentious disagreements if the marriage should ultimately end in divorce.
If you live in Illinois and would like to learn more about postnuptial agreements and how one might benefit your marriage, our office can help. Contact an experienced family law attorney in Kane County for a consultation today.