Prenuptial Agreement FAQ
In Illinois, a “Premarital Agreement" is defined as an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and said agreement is effective upon marriage. Below are the frequently asked questions about prenuptial agreement mediation. If you have more questions, please contact us at (630) 891-2478 or through our contact form on this page.
Can't we just use an online form?
Yes, you can easily find free prenuptial agreement forms online, but there are many requirements specific to Illinois that requires extra effort to make sure the agreement is mutual and valid. Using an online form is a quick way for an agreement to be attacked as fails to show support that the couple meet in person, well in advance of their marriage, to discuss, disclose, and agree to the terms of the prenup. Additionally, there are many benefits to meeting in person of via Zoom with a neutral mediator to both have input into this process. You can learn more here.
Working with a family law professional is important to help you move beyond a generic template form so that you reach a detailed, informed, and clear agreement.
What will happen at our prenup mediation meeting?
At our first meeting, we will discuss:
- Confirmation of agreement to discuss a prenuptial agreement
- Discuss generally the property of each party
- The goals and expectations of each party regarding their rights to manage or control property
- Thoughts on acceptable disposition of property upon certain life events
- Thoughts on Spousal Support
- Goals for Estate Planning for the couple/family
- Thoughts about life insurance benefits
- Goals for family planning and financial support of any child/ren.
What tasks will I need to work on during prenuptial mediation (we can provide trusted referrals for any experts needed)?
- Gather 2 preceding years of federal income tax returns
- Complete our forms re: disclosure of assets, debts, and liabilities
- Provide PDF statements supporting the above disclosure
- Consult with any experts to determine income or valuation of property or assets
- Meet with or consult with any other needed experts.
What happens after our first meeting and the completion of tasks?
- Discuss specifically all income, assets, and property of each party.
- Determine each parties' rights to manage or control certain property or assets
- Determine each party's rights to spousal support or a waiver of spousal support
- Confirm that child support cannot be effected by the prenup.
- Ensure your agreement also considers your estate plan.
- Determine life insurance benefits for each party.
- Discuss and decide any other issue important to your marriage.
What is the last step of this process?
Lastly, per Illinois law: A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It is enforceable without consideration. Therefore, for the last step, the mediation agreement will be reviewed by 2 attorneys of your choosing and we can provide you with a list of experienced prenuptial attorneys to complete your legal paperwork.
How long will this process take and cost?
We will have at least two 1.5 hour meetings. The duration of working with an expert, if needed, depends on that experts schedule. The finalization review by an attorney could take a week or two.
The hourly rate of premarital mediation is $350 per hour which is generally shared by the couple (so $175 per person). We do accept a retainer for the 3 hours and 1 hour of administrative work.
It is best to allow several weeks or months prior to a wedding to finish the agreement.