Discussing money matters before getting married can sometimes feel awkward. However, if two individuals in Illinois wait to tackle money issues until they decide to get a divorce, the situation can be more challenging than they may have anticipated. Forming a prenuptial agreement before getting married -- or a postnuptial agreement after saying their vows -- can help the couple to protect their property in case the marriage subsequently ends.
Prenups and postnups can dictate exactly what assets or particular property will go to which spouse in the event that the two get divorced. If an asset will need to be divided, the agreements may also provide details concerning how it will be divided between the two. This is especially helpful for addressing large assets, such as the family home.
There are multiple benefits from creating and signing a prenup or postnup. For instance, those who own a business together and decide to get married can protect their individual interests by signing one of these types of agreements. Stay-at-home spouses, people who have recently become financially successful and those expecting to get an inheritance may also find some security in signing either of these agreements.
A prenup or postnup may help to prevent the type of conflict that often arises during Illinois divorce proceedings. If no agreement was executed before the divorce, however, the parties may still try to work toward a settlement that benefits them both. If they cannot accomplish this, a judge will ultimately decide how their assets will be divided, and the result may not be as favorable to one or both spouses.
Source: ABC News, "Forget the Prenup: Why You May Need a Postnuptial Agreement", A.J. Smith, Feb. 16, 2015