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What is the Difference Between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?

Posted on in Family Law

St. Charles family law attorneyWhen preparing for marriage or divorce, both spouses may decide to protect their assets through prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. By creating documents that outline the division of assets in the case of divorce, couples may be able to prevent highly contested divorces. These documents are in both parties' best interest because collaborative divorces are typically faster and less expensive than contested divorces. If you and your spouse are planning your marriage and how assets would be divided in the case of divorce, it would be in your best interest to discuss your plans with an experienced family law attorney. 

Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements

As indicated by the prefix of each word, prenuptial agreements are drafted before marriage, whereas postnuptial agreements are drafted after a marriage. There are a few reasons that couples may decide to draft these agreements. Firstly, having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help protect independent finances for each spouse. It can also declare which assets belong to a corresponding spouse. In the case of separation or divorce, this can prevent court litigation over contesting belongings, finances, and other assets. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements typically include who will retain the home, how joint finances and businesses will be divided, and how other material assets will be divided

Which is Better?

Deciding whether a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement is best for you and your spouse is entirely up to your unique relationship. Each marriage is different and comes with various financial assets and joint partnerships. It is in both spouses' best interests to discuss whether a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement is the best for your relationship with a lawyer. Family law and divorce attorneys are skilled in analyzing finances and other assets and the relationship structure between partners. A lawyer may help guide you towards which agreement is best. However, here are some tips to help you begin deciding on whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is suitable for you:

  • Prenuptial Agreements — Prenuptial agreements are great for couples that want to protect their independent assets before marriage. This could be stating that one spouse's debt is their sole responsibility or declaring that the house belongs to one spouse in the case of divorce. However, spouses typically don't share many assets before marriage. Joint assets such as businesses, debt, and other jointly-purchased items may occur during a marriage. In that case, a prenuptial agreement would not include those assets that a spouse obtained during the marriage. 
  • Postnuptial Agreements — Postnuptial agreements can include the joint assets obtained during a marriage. These are great for high-value asset divisions like family businesses or substantial financial ventures. 

Speak to a Kane County Family Law Attorney 

If you are looking to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse, speaking with our experienced Kane County family law attorneys can help guide you in the right direction. At Weiler & Lengle P.C., our lawyers have years of combined experience working with clients in creating marital agreements. If you are looking to decide whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is best for your family, call our office today to schedule an initial consultation with us at 630-382-8050

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

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