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Dangers and Benefits of Illinois Postnuptial Agreements

Illinois allows for postnuptial agreements to help simplify divorces and promote settled solutions to family law issues. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, only it is entered into after a couple is married. 

The Purpose of Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are legal contracts. Like prenuptial agreements, the parties agree ahead of time what would happen to the marital property and spousal support should the couple get divorced. These agreements save the couple the costs and emotional turmoil of litigating a divorce, and it frees up court resources.

Postnuptial agreements can also help simplify the process of figuring out what is marital property and what remains separate property.

Dangers of a Postnuptial Agreement

While postnuptial agreements can work to help both spouses, there are risks to entering into one. Because postnuptial agreements are legal contracts, a spouse cannot later simply try and back out of one because they didn't read or understand the document.

If you are not careful, you may give away important rights in a postnuptial agreement that could hurt you in the event of a divorce. When a postnuptial agreement is being considered, each spouse should have their own independent lawyer examine the document and represent them to make sure their rights are protected.

Another danger of a postnuptial agreement is that it will not be drafted or executed appropriately and the agreement will be found void during a divorce proceeding.

Like all legal documents, there are essential formalities with a postnuptial agreement that must be observed.

Limits of Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements may not resolve all issues. Postnuptial agreements will not be enforced by a court if there is some public policy reason not to. For example, a court may ignore issues that relate to children such as custody or support, if the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the children.

Postnuptial agreements cannot be used to legitimize illegal activity. Both sides must also voluntarily enter into the agreement for it to be valid. Because postnuptial agreements in Illinois are contracts, the agreements are vulnerable to attack on the same grounds one could attack an ordinary contract.

Dealing with postnuptial agreements is complicated. If you have questions about postnuptial agreements, or any other family law issues, contact a knowledgeable DuPage County family law lawyer. Call The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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