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When two people enter a marriage, they become one legal unit. This legal relationship has many lasting effects on both spouses’ separate and joint finances. It may be unpleasant to think what will happen to your assets during a divorce, but this is an important topic to consider. Because there are many complicated financial issues that can arise during a divorce, it is wise to consider signing a premarital or postnuptial agreement.
Premarital vs. Postnuptial
The main difference between premarital and postnuptial agreements is when they are executed. A premarital agreement is created between two people intending to be married, and is executed before the marriage takes place. A postnuptial agreement is between two spouses. Both types of agreements are similarly intended to allow spouses to protect their individual financial futures if the marriage ends in divorce. Premarital and postnuptial agreements help spouses to preemptively make important decisions if they decide to dissolve their marriage in the future.
Why Would I Need a Premarital/Postnuptial?
Some people shy away from premarital and postnuptial agreements because they think such agreements reflect poorly on their marriage or their commitment to a spouse. Actually, these agreements can be especially helpful legal tools designed to protect both spouses’ financial interests. Signing such an agreement does not mean that you are not committed to your marriage; rather, it shows that you are committed to a secure financial future.
By crafting a premarital or postnuptial agreement, you can resolve financial issues such as dividing debt, splitting property, or determining alimony. You may also pre-determine child custody and support issues in your agreement. If your marriage does end in divorce, you will know that such questions do not have to be resolved in the midst of an emotionally charged legal process.
Enforcing Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements
Premarital and postnuptial agreements are contracts, which are generally legally enforceable. However, to be enforceable, these agreements must be valid and properly written. Both spouses must make full financial disclosure to each other of their assets and liabilities (or knowingly waive such disclosure). Of course, like any contract, such agreements can be challenged in court. A skilled DuPage County family lawyer can guide you through the agreement process, and address any enforceability concerns.
Contact DuPage County Family Law FirmAt Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys can help you draft a premarital or postnuptial agreement that will best serve your unique interests. We have years of experience working with clients interested in these agreements, and can help you craft your own. Similarly, we can also help you understand your options for divorce as well. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. During your consultation, you can speak with a reputable lawyer about your questions and concerns.