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Prenuptial Agreements Attorneys In Chicago

The concept of a prenuptial agreement can have some negative connotations. Some mistakenly believe that by establishing a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse you are establishing the inevitability of a divorce. Some believe that the person requesting the prenup does not trust his or her future spouse. Whether you, your future spouse or both of you have questions and concerns regarding a prenuptial agreement, our law firm can assist you.

Prenuptial agreements are used for any number of reasons and not because you don’t trust your partner or think that things aren’t going to work out. Maybe you have children from a prior marriage and you want to protect their right to inherit. Maybe there are family businesses that need to be identified and protected. Or, maybe, you have worked very hard and created a healthy estate for yourself and you want to control the outcome of any divorce.

Understanding The Need For A Prenuptial Agreement

We can help you understand the actualities of a prenuptial agreement rather than the misconceptions.

  • Are you seeking to create a legal foundation for your marriage with a prenuptial agreement?
  • Are you divorcing and depending on your prenuptial agreement to protect your rights and investments? Are you ending your marriage without a “prenup” and wishing you had one?
  • Are you intent on challenging the prenuptial agreement that began your marriage? Are you determined that your goals for your divorce be stated in a postnuptial agreement?

For expert drafting and review of your Chicago, Cook County or Illinois marital agreements, speak to our attorneys of O'Connor Family Law, P.C.

When drafting a prenuptial agreement, we can ensure that the document is established in a manner that will be upheld in a court of law. When reviewing a prenuptial agreement, we can look at the various nuances and how those can affect you in the future. A prenuptial agreement may never come into play. However, it needs to be treated like it will.

Ms. O'Connor and Ms. Anixter bring more than 26 years of combined experience to family law and divorce. We know marriage and divorce inside and out — from drafting of premarital agreements to the final divorce decree.

A prenuptial agreement starts your marriage on the right foot, legally and financially, as a contract that both of you must abide by. A postnuptial agreement provides the foundation for the end of your marriage and can save time, money, energy and emotion in discussions that finalize ownership of assets and property.

Are you wondering what type of person needs a prenuptial agreement? In our experience, we have found that people entering into second (or subsequent) marriages can obtain peace of mind from prenuptial agreements. Similarly, those with significant assets, property and wealth as well as those who have children from previous marriages can benefit. If you have any questions about the viability and fit of a prenup in your life, we are happy to speak with you about your rights and options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Illinois Marital Agreements

The answers to these common questions about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help you understand them.

Can a prenuptial agreement affect securing a mortgage during the marriage?

You can draft a prenuptial agreement to cover as many or as specific issues as desired; often times, the purchase of a home is covered. If a home is being purchased with non-marital assets, like your savings from before the marriage, making sure that all your mortgage paperwork reflects the nature of your interest is extremely important. A prenuptial agreement can clarify how non marital property is used for the marital benefit without you losing your asset.

Can a prenup affect refinancing during the marriage?

Yes, it can and yes, it should! A prenuptial agreement can protect your nonmarital interest from inadvertently becoming marital through the refinance process.  You can also make sure that your spouse cannot hold up refinancing to try and change the status of nonmarital property.

Can a prenup be challenged or overturned?

Prenuptial agreements are generally upheld in Illinois, but challenges are not uncommon. Evidence proving coercion, lack of financial disclosure by a spouse or terms heavily favoring one side at the time of signing. Fraud or misrepresentation by a spouse can also void a marital agreement.

What should I not agree to in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

While these agreements allow customization and flexibility, some terms are best kept off-limits. Here are three examples:

  • Unconscionable terms: Provisions that significantly favor one spouse financially, especially if there’s a vast disparity in income or assets.
  • Maintenance (alimony or spousal support) waiver: Illinois allows a waiver of maintenance in a prenup, but it must not cause a spouse undue hardship. It is extremely wise to consult a divorce lawyer before waiving your right to spousal support.
  • Child support and custody: Marital agreements cannot dictate child-related issues.

An experienced attorney can help you evaluate a proposed marital agreement to see if it is fair.

Does cheating make a prenuptial agreement void?

Adultery does not automatically invalidate a pre-marital agreement. However, some couples include infidelity clauses that specify how cheating might impact property division and other financial issues (alimony) during a divorce. For instance, it might state that a cheating spouse must pay up if the marriage ends.

While Illinois courts may consider infidelity clauses, they must be drafted fairly and reasonably to comply with state law.

Protect Your Future With A Solid Agreement

Too much is at stake in a marriage and divorce to leave vital considerations to guesswork. Our law firm provides documentation that leaves nothing to chance. Whether drafting an initial document or reviewing an agreement, we can ensure that your rights are protected and that nothing is left unnoticed.

To schedule a consultation, call 312-445-0577 or send us an email.