What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Kendall County Pre-Nuptial Agreement Attorneys

A prenuptial agreement is a decision made by spouses to account for the potential that their marriage may end in divorce. The agreement is designed to protect one or both spouses who may have important assets, or children from previous relationships that should be provided for in the case of divorce or death. The goal of the agreement is to lay out and establish the rights of the spouses in advance, before a potential divorce makes it necessary. When a couple marries, they are by default “agreeing” to their state’s laws and provisions regarding marriage and divorce. These laws determine what happens to shared property, children, pensions, and finances. A pre-nuptial agreement allows couples to opt out of provisions and make more individualized and specific decisions.

With the increase in the nation’s divorce rate, pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more and more common. Couples interested in pursuing a pre-nuptial agreement may use the same attorney, so long as both parties are competent and voluntarily enter into the contract. If the agreement is not voluntarily signed by both parties, it leaves

potential for the aggrieved party to later attest the signing was not voluntary and that they signed under “duress”, which could make the agreement invalid. The agreement must also be signed prior to the marriage, or it will also be deemed invalid. Illinois has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which lays out the instances in which a premarital agreement will not be enforceable; “(1) he or she did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or (2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement, the party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other's property, did not waive the right to such disclosure in writing, and did not have (and could not reasonably have had) an adequate knowledge of the other's property.

A pre-nuptial agreement is not only used to protect financial assets, but also children from previous marriages. In the agreement, a party may choose to create protections for a child from a previous marriage, who may otherwise be unprotected under state law in the event of death of their parent.

Elements of a Well-Written Pre-Nuptial Agreement

A well drafted pre-nuptial agreement has several important elements. One of these elements is an acknowledgement of all the debts and assets each party will be bringing to the marriage. Another element is distinguishing between marital and separate property. The purpose of this is to ensure proper ownership of assets in the case of divorce. It is also important to ensure consistency between the agreement and the parties’ trusts. If the parties do not have a trust at the time of the pre-nuptial agreement, it is recommended to protect the family’s future. Alimony is another typical element, where the lower earning and higher earning spouse will agree to or waive alimony if it is ever necessary. If one party enters the marriage with a child from a previous marriage, they may wish to include provisions that would take care of the child in the event of death.


Kendall County Pre-Divorce Planning Attorneys

The Attorneys at Gateville Law Firm concentrate in divorce and estate planning law. Unlike most divorce and estate planning law firms, our lawyers understand the intersection between divorce, asset protection, and estate planning law.

Deciding the end, a marriage is a challenging and taxing decision. Divorce planning is an essential step in the process of amicably separating. The purpose of pre-divorce planning isn’t to be vengeful, but rather a way of creating a plan so that the dissolution and thereafter go smoothy. The first step is to consult with an attorney who will help make the best decisions for your personal circumstances. After hiring an attorney, you should begin with organizing your debts, assets, and financial information.


Skilled and Experienced Kendall County Pre-Nuptial Agreement Lawyers

The Lawyers of Gateville Law Firm provide effective and wise counsel with respect to pre-nuptial agreement and post-nuptial agreement planning. Often, we combine estate planning with Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreement Planning.




If you are looking for qualified attorneys to represent and assist you with your marital, divorce, or family needs, Gateville Law Firm is here to represent you. We are happy to set-up a Zoom, Telephone, and/or in-person appointment to discuss your concerns.  Reach us today at 630-780-1034 or via email at We serve Kendall County and nearby areas.

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