Prenuptial Agreements often have a bad reputation and are frequently misunderstood. They can be important tools to use to protect yourself and your assets going into a marriage. What's more: they offer transparency, and that's a good place to start a marriage. Prenuptial Agreement Mediation helps you build a firm marriage foundation for which you can build your family upon.
What are Prenuptial Agreements in DuPage County (or any county in Illinois)?
When two people are about to head down the aisle, they sometimes enter into a prenuptial agreement first. A prenuptial agreement is a before-marriage contract that lays out the specifics of what will happen to the property they own should the marriage fail.
Prenuptial agreements in most states can be used to address many different issues, including:
- What property should be considered marital and what should be considered separate. Instead of having a judge decide this matter pursuant to the laws of your state, you can decide beforehand.
- Protections for certain property. For example, if the engagement ring is a family heirloom on the spouse's side, the parties may agree that in the event of divorce, the ring goes back to the husband.
- You may agree that should one or both spouses want a divorce, the parties are required to go through mediation or arbitration.
Prenuptial agreements in most states cannot be used to address certain issues, including:
- Custody and issues of child support are not allowed to be addressed in prenuptial agreements. The court will determine what is in the child's best interest, not the parents.
- Courts do not like provisions that address personal rather than financial issues. For example, a prenuptial agreement should not contain a provision stating where the parties will spend their Christmases.
- A prenuptial agreement should not be used to address anything that is illegal. For example, if the family earns money through the sale of illegal drugs, who gets that business in case of divorce is not allowed to be addressed.
To be sure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, it is best to make the terms as fair as possible to both parties.
Who Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?
While many people can benefit from the use of a prenuptial agreement, it is especially beneficial for people in the following situations:
- If you own a business, it is a good idea to look into a prenuptial agreement. This helps protect the business in case of divorce.
- If you own significant assets, a prenuptial agreement is a good idea to keep them protected.
- If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can assist in protecting the inheritance of those children.
Contrary to popular opinion, prenuptial agreements aren't just for the wealthy. They can provide needed protection to people from all walks of life.
Why Use Mediation for a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?
Finding a divorce attorney during the happiest phase of your relationship can often be a deal breaker for most relationships. Instead of using a polarizing divorce attorney at the start of your relationship to prepare a prenuptial agreement, it is best to select a neutral mediator that can meet with both parties and discuss openly the couple's goals for their marriage and finances. At Birt Law, we co-mediate prenuptial agreements with a certified family law financial professional so that the couple benefit from both the legal and financial backgrounds of the neutral mediators.
Benefits of Prenuptial Agreement Mediation include:
- Introduction to professionals that can assist you before and during your marriage;
- Privacy for the couple to express their marital and financial goals;
- Reduction of stress while wedding planning;
- Transparent disclosure of the premarital and marital estate;
- Creation of Marital Budget;
- Reduction of issues regarding estate planning or asset division;
- Education of marital estate and income;
- Positive solutions to unique family circumstances;
- The prevention of conflict.
Do You Need a Family Law Attorney in DuPage County for a Prenuptial Agreement?
During mediation, it is good to be educated. While the mediators will provide you with substantial information, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney regarding how prenuptial agreements work in Illinois and how judges in your specific county interpret such agreements, including what you can and cannot address. Courts have a tendency to look for reasons to find these agreements unenforceable, so the help of several professionals such as a mediator, a family law financial professional, and an attorney is almost necessary to ensure your Prenuptial Agreement is upheld in case of divorce.
After the Prenuptial Agreement Mediation is complete, we provide our clients with referrals to mediation friendly attorneys to swiftly finish the legal documents. Often, our network of attorneys offer a low flat fee since you have done all of the hard work in mediation.
Contact our Prenuptial Agreement Mediator in Illinois Today
Protecting your assets and family are important. Make sure your Prenuptial Agreement Mediation process preserves your happiness, protects your assets and family, and complies with Illinois law. At The Law Firm of Erin Birt PC (Birt Law), our family law attorney & mediator, Erin Birt, can help you understand if the Prenuptial Agreement Mediation process is right for you and your future spouse. Contact us online or at (630) 891-2478 to schedule a free telephone call to learn more.