When you enter into a marriage, you are promising to share everything you have with your partner. Sadly, not all marriages will end happily ever after. A divorce can be a messy process, but if a prenuptial agreement is put into place before a union, the process of dividing assets during divorce can be made more simple.
According to the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a prenuptial agreement is a written agreement signed by both partners planning to enter into a marriage. Both parties must be comfortable with the agreement without pressure from either side.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Protect?
A prenuptial agreement is a tool that will specify how a couple’s businesses, finances, or property would be divided between the two parties should a divorce happen. When creating a prenup, both parties are required to fully disclose their respective finances to each other to ensure that they have a full understanding of their financial situation and can weigh this information when making decisions about how to divide assets. Once all assets have been identified, the parties may decide what happens to each asset and whether specific assets will be considered marital property that must be divided during divorce or separate property owned by one spouse.
A prenuptial agreement can also include decisions about spousal maintenance, including whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other in the case of divorce and the amount and duration of these payments. Illinois law also states that a prenup can be amended after a marriage occurs. Any changes to the agreement must be signed by both parties in order to be considered valid.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect My Business?
If you are a businessperson, a prenup can define which assets within your company are considered separate property as opposed to marital property. In today’s economy, it is not rare to find a company started by spouses. In cases like this, the business is considered a marital asset and can be divided between the individuals upon a divorce.
If a business is started by one spouse before getting married, that spouse will likely want to include the business in a prenup. The agreement will protect the business and ensure that the former spouse will not be entitled to any portion of the business, whether it be money or a percentage of ownership share. However, if a spouse becomes involved in a business after marriage, it will be considered a marital asset, and both spouses will then be able to claim a certain portion of the asset during divorce.
Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney
If you are thinking about getting married, you should also think about long-term protection of your assets in case divorce ever becomes a possibility. Our Geneva prenuptial agreement lawyers are ready to help you and your partner set up an agreement to protect your property and address your concerns. Give our office a call at 630-382-8050 to schedule a consultation.