Societal perception of prenuptial agreements has changed over recent years. These legally-binding agreements protect both parties should they decide to divorce, often addressing different topics such as property division and alimony. But there is another handy agreement that is often overlooked, even in marriages with significant business interests or complex marital property — the postnuptial agreement.
The primary difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements comes down to the timing. A prenup is signed before marriage, and a postnup is signed after. Both types of agreements also generally address the same topics. However, many couples in Illinois find that postnups are useful in ways that prenups simply cannot fully cover.
For example, couples with complex marital property or significant salaries might not fully appreciate the various factors that will influence their separate and marital assets before saying “I do.” This does not mean that couples should skip out on prenuptial agreements, but that they can use a postnup to address necessary changes to the prenup. Acquiring new assets or liabilities may also warrant the use of a postnup.
Life is not static, and it is exceptionally difficult to anticipate every concern that may arise during the course of marriage. A postnuptial agreement gives couples the ability to address significant changes involving complex marital property as they arise later on, extending greater protection to both parties. But like with a prenuptial agreement, one should ensure that it is carefully worded and legally binding. Speaking with an attorney who is experienced in Illinois family law might be helpful.