Marriage is a legal commitment that significantly impacts both spouses’ rights related to property and support. Like every state, Illinois has statutes that govern how a married couple’s property is divided upon divorce and whether one spouse is entitled to financial support from the other. However, those statutes may not reflect each spouse’s expectations, and during a divorce, arguing how these statutes apply can result in costly and acrimonious litigation.
That is why many couples choose to create an agreement – either before getting married or after they are married – which lets them bypass the statutes and decide for themselves, in the event of divorce, how to divide their property and whether one spouse will be entitled to financial support from the other after the marriage.
Premarital and postmarital agreements are legal contracts. Like any binding agreement, they should be negotiated and drafted by a seasoned attorney with expertise to ensure the client’s rights are adequately protected by a clear and unambiguous document. The attorneys at Berger Schatz excel at this, helping prospective and current spouses reach an agreement that’s right for them.
Who Should Consider a Premarital or Postmarital Agreement
Individuals with substantial wealth or complex assets (e.g., long-term business investments, partnership interests, shares in closely held family businesses, intellectual property, unvested or restricted stock, etc.), as well as those who earn a substantial income or acquire substantial assets or liabilities during the marriage, are advised to consider an agreement to preserve their ownership of some or all of that wealth as their separate property during the marriage, and in the event of divorce, to resolve what ongoing financial obligations (if any) each spouse will have to the other if the marriage ends.
Confidential, Experienced Guidance
Berger Schatz attorneys are highly skilled at counseling those married and soon to be married couples about their rights and options and at negotiating and drafting these agreements.