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Using a prenup to prepare in case of divorce

Some couples in Illinois may want a prenuptial agreement to protect them in case they get a divorce. This should not be a decision they procrastinate on making because preparing the prenup shortly before the marriage can make the document more vulnerable to challenges. It can appear as though one individual was coerced into signing it.

Both individuals will need to fully disclose their finances. A prenup is a good opportunity to get a thorough understanding of how the other person feels about money, and this is an important conversation for any couple to have. The prenup can establish what property will remain separate, including income, inheritances and real estate, and what will be considered shared. It will also outline how they will divide any shared property in a divorce. It can establish rules for spousal support as well.

Business owners may be particularly concerned about getting a prenup since even a spouse who is not involved in the business may be able to claim a portion of it in a divorce. If the two own the business together, the prenup might establish how one will buy out the other. The prenup might establish the value of the business at marriage, how it will be valued in a divorce and what percentage each spouse can claim in a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements cannot address issues related to child custody and support, so parents will need to negotiate these issues whether or not a prenup is in place. In fact, including this or other issues that are outside the scope of a prenup could result in a judge deciding the document is invalid. If parents cannot negotiate an agreement for custody and visitation, they may have to go to court. A judge will determine the custody agreement based on the best interests of the child.

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