Wheaton Marital Agreement Lawyers
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys in DuPage County
Statistics and interpretations vary, but there is no doubt that the divorce rate is much higher now than it was a generation ago, especially for second and subsequent marriages. At the same time, financial arguments are a leading source of marital discord. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can address both of these matters. A premarital agreement is something of an insurance policy in the unlikely event of a divorce, and can address financial concerns before they escalate into disagreements and conflict.
At The Law Office of Judith Jenz, we work hard to find cost-effective solutions that protect your legal and financial interests, and a marital agreement is often a big piece of this puzzle. Attorney Judith Jenz is ready to assist your family in this regard.
What An Agreement Can Do
Most judges look very favorably on voluntary spousal agreements, assuming they are properly executed and not patently unfair. Both spouses must have a clear understanding of all the agreement's effects. Although individual representation is typically a good idea, it is not mandatory. In a similar vein, property division in the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not have to be a 50-50 proposition. The agreement can split the marital estate unequally so long as it is an equitable division.
Many times, spouses may arrange for an offset in property division matters following a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. For example, one spouse may accept higher spousal maintenance payments if he or she agrees to surrender any claim to the other spouse's retirement account.
A spousal agreement can confirm asset characterization, which is important because property can easily become commingled. For example, one spouse may bring a classic car into the marriage (non-marital property) and use funds from his or paycheck (marital property) for repairs and upgrades.
When stepchildren are involved, inheritance can become an issue. A marital agreement can put these questions to rest well before a dispute flares up into expensive probate litigation. In a similar vein, spouses can make provisions for child visitation and child custody.
Generally speaking, spousal agreements are valid as long as the marriage lasts. These contracts can generally be revoked or amended at any time, if both spouses consent.
Limitations of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
The agreement cannot contain any illegal provisions, including an inequitable division of the marital estate or child custody decisions that are manifestly not in the children's best interests. Child support is also typically off limits.
The Process of Obtaining a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
A premarital agreement is not romantic in any way, shape, or form, just like there is nothing romantic about a life insurance policy. But responsible people have life insurance in case the unexpected happens. In this way, it is very similar to a premarital agreement. Responsible spouses should have a premarital agreement no matter how much money they have.