Many people are familiar with prenups. However, they might not be as familiar with postnuptial agreements, which serve a similar purpose but are signed after the wedding. This type of agreement might be something you and your spouse in Illinois are considering if you are a high-asset couple and wish to both draw a financial plan for the life of your marriage with specific provisions about how to divide these assets if you divorce or one of you dies.
The basic requirements
Legal requirements for postnuptial agreements vary from state to state, but the basic premise is similar throughout. Several conditions must be met for a court to accept and enforce a postnup. These include:
• Both parties signing it voluntarily
• Both parties have declared all their income, debts, assets and other financial responsibilities
• The agreement is fair and balanced
• The agreement is a written, notarized document
What can you include in your postnuptial agreement?
Like a prenup, you can focus your postnup on outlining financial issues that might be up for discussion later in the marriage or in case of a divorce. For example, you might want to include which spouse might pay alimony, how much and for how long if the marriage ends. You might also detail which property will be considered separate property in the case of divorce, who will have responsibility for debts, and how property will be divided if one of you dies and there are children from previous marriages named as heirs.
Who might consider a postnup?
A postnuptial agreement can be an excellent tool to protect assets for high-worth individuals who have concerns that their marriage might fail. It can also be a consideration for couples who disagree over finances after the marriage and want to have things clear between them to avoid further conflict.
Signing a postnuptial agreement is not necessarily a sign that you have no faith in the longevity of your marriage. It can act as a roadmap for financial decisions during your relationship with your spouse.