Prenuptial Agreements are Popular with Millennials
No one wants to think about divorce when they are still planning their wedding, but a prenuptial agreement can actually help strengthen your marriage by providing a solid foundation. And, of course, having an agreement makes it easier and saves you money should your marriage not work out.
Couples, especially millennial couples, are three times more likely to make a prenuptial agreement today than they were ten years ago. According to a new national survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), more millennials are seeking prenups because they are getting married at an older age and often enter marriage with both family money and new business ventures that need to be protected. Prenuptial agreements are best suited for people who have premarital funds and ventures they do not wish to blend with marital assets. Agreements also make sure money stays in the family in the event that the new prospective spouse passes away during the marriage or in case of divorce.
The skilled Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know that a prenuptial agreement is an important part of good planning and that it doesn’t have to be offensive or punitive. We offer a free consultation to provide professional guidance with prenuptial agreements or any other family-law issue.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement made before marriage between potential spouses. The agreement usually states how couple will handle assets, debts, and other financial issues during their marriage. It also covers how these matters will be handled should the marriage end.
Agreements may address the following issues:
- Who pays alimony after divorce, how much and for how long
- Which spouse will own what property after divorce, and how property will be sold, transferred, or managed, and what will happen to property you acquire during the marriage
- Creating a will to carry out the terms of the agreement
- Who has rights in the death benefit from a life insurance policy
- What happens to the future inheritance for children from another marriage
- Protecting a business, retirement accounts, or any pre-owned property from potential division if you divorce.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Illinois?
Illinois prenuptial agreement laws are covered in the 750 ILCS 10/ Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. In determining whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable, Illinois has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) guidelines. According to these guidelines, all prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both spouses. However, agreements do not have to be witnessed or recorded with the clerk of court.
Although the agreement does not legally have to include a schedule of each spouse’s assets and debts, it is a good idea to fully and accurately disclose pre-marital assets and liabilities and provide each other with a copy of income tax returns and a balance sheet. Courts are more likely to enforce agreements that include this type of proof that shows each spouse knew the other’s financial situation before signing the agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are allowed to be amended or canceled at any time in writing if this notice is signed by both spouses.
There are circumstances where a judge will not enforce the prenuptial agreement. This may happen if:
- The agreement was signed under pressure or “duress”, and not voluntarily.
- The terms of the agreement would make one spouse eligible to receive public assistance.
- The terms of the agreement are severely unfair, unjust, and “unconscionable.”
- One spouse failed to disclose true assets and debts and the other spouse did not waive the right to receive it and could not have known the information any other way.
The judge hearing the divorce case will decide whether the agreement is unenforceable due to duress or because it is unconscionable.
Contact Us For Help and a Free Consultation
Prenuptial agreements can help you with planning your financial situation, and they save on litigation costs should you get divorced later, but they have to be done correctly. The facts and circumstances of each marriage are different, so it makes sense to seek legal counsel to represent your interests. The seasoned Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., have helped countless individuals with marital and family issues. We can advise and guide you through every step in the prenuptial process and answer any questions you might have.
At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we made our reputation one client at a time, and we put every ounce of our ability into every case. There is no charge for the first consultation, and we are happy to schedule appointments at our office.
Take no chances with planning your agreement incorrectly. Call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or contact our team online.