Mutually Beneficial Prenuptial Agreements in Illinois

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article, we explain how prenuptial agreements can be mutually beneficial in Illinois.  We explain prenuptial agreements for middle class families, prenuptial agreements for second marriage, prenuptial agreements for business owners, and using prenuptial agreements to resolve financial issues in advance.  We also answer the question, “what should be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements For Middle Class Families

Many people assume that prenups are established by wealthy bachelors and bachelorettes that are born into privilege or have already made a name for themselves, becoming successful and financially sound. This is a common misconception.  Prenuptial agreements are actually on the rise, and they are trending in the “millennial” generation.  Many people that would not be considered “wealthy” have assets they want to protect, regardless of their standard of living.  

Since premarital agreements can be invalidated by the court if the document was signed under duress or found unconscionable (meaning the contract is oppressively and unreasonably one-sided and the disadvantaged party was deprived of any intelligible choice at the time the contract was signed), prenups should include terms that both parties are completely comfortable with, thereby making them mutually beneficial.

A prenuptial agreement can help couples lay groundwork for a strong marriage.  Wealth, debt, property, insurance policies and other assets are among the things prenuptial agreements can address.  

Prenuptial Agreements for Second Marriages

If you’ve been married before and have children from a previous marriage, a prenup can help you designate which assets should be distributed to your children in the event of divorce or death.  

Prenuptial Agreements for Business Owners

Small business owners may also want to consider a prenup, as it allows you to establish assets you’ve attained prior to your marriage, and gives you and your partner control over what happens to those assets while your relationship is on a high note.  

Using Prenuptial Agreements to Resolve Financial Issues in Advance

Finances can be a sensitive subject to discuss, but it’s something that should happen before you tie the knot.  Talking about a premarital agreement can also help you and your partner assess your values and decide what is most important to you as a couple.   

If you think a prenup might make your fiance feel uneasy about the engagement, consider researching prenuptial agreements in further depth before approaching your partner.  The more you educate yourself about prenups and how they work, the easier it will be to talk about.  

What Should Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A mutually beneficial prenuptial agreement may address the following issues in advance of marriage so that disputes do not arise during the marriage:

  • Description of each spouse’s property, including future gifts and inheritances, that the spouses intend to keep separate during the marriage; 
  • An agreement about how premarital and postmarital debt will be handled; 
  • Waiver of the right to claim the surviving spouse’s award when one spouse passes away; 
  • An agreement on how taxes will be handled during the marriage;
  • An agreement on how purchases and expenses will be handled during the marriage; 
  • An agreement regarding who will inherit the couple’s property when the second spouse passes away. 

For more information about prenuptial agreements, see our article entitled Prenuptial Agreements Explained.  

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