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Different ways a financial agreement may work in a divorce

When it comes to marriages in Illinois, it may seem counterintuitive to enter with premade plans for an exit. However, the reality is that about half of marriages fail. It only makes sense then to plan for the 50/50 chance of breaking up in the future.

This requires a financial agreement, which may take two forms. The first is a prenuptial agreement and the second is a postnuptial agreement. As the terms imply, one occurs before the marriage and the other afterward. Both serve the same purpose.

Forbes defines a prenuptial agreement as a private arrangement between two people prior to marriage. This decides how assets may be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. However, thinking of this as a purely financial document would be inaccurate. Some prenups include division of household duties during the marriage, arrangements for raising the children and virtually anything else the couple wishes to agree to on paper.

In all states, there is a focus on fairness. Both parties also need to make full disclosure of their assets and debts. Fairness may depend on differences in incomes, whether children are included in the mix, any career adjustments the lower-income spouse has to make and foreseeable lifestyle changes.

Postnuptial agreements tackle the same issues but after saying “I do.” One MarketWatch article illustrates that the best instance to consider this is when financial circumstances change drastically. In the specific article, they talked extensively about Jeff Bezos’ marriage and divorce.

However, becoming a multibillionaire during the course of the marriage may not be the only time to consider a postnup. Couples may also agree to one if the breadwinner roles change or a spouse decides to leave work to either travel with their spouse or take care of the home. This provides a safeguard for both parties.

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