Getting married in Illinois can be both exciting and scary -- exciting for those who believe they have found their soul mates -- but also scary due to the fact that the marriage may not work. This is particularly a concern for those who are entering into marriages with valuable assets, as a divorce can cause them to lose a bulk of these assets. This is why drafting a prenuptial agreement may be a wise move to make before getting married.
A solid prenuptial agreement spells out specific financial arrangements in the event that a marriage ends in a divorce. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be effective, it is critical that both parties fully disclose their financial situations. Examining both individuals' most recent tax returns may help to ensure that both of their incomes, along with their assets, are accurately reported.
It is also wise to put together the prenuptial agreement well in an advance of the wedding. This is because, if the agreement is executed right before the wedding, it may be deemed invalid by the court, which may consider it to have been signed under duress. In general, prenuptial agreements are helpful for those who are marrying at an older age, entering a second marital union or who have children from a first union.
Prenuptial agreements must be completed before two people get married; however, even if a couple lacks this type of agreement when they decide to get divorced in Illinois, they can still try to negotiate regarding matters such as asset division and property distribution. Effective negotiation may increase the couple's chances of achieving a mutually beneficial divorce settlement without further court intrusion. Otherwise, a judge will have to step in and make these critical decisions for them.
Source: onwallstreet.com, "Making a Prenup Hold Up for Wealthy Couples", Donald Jay Korn Top Bank, May 19, 2015