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How to Address Spousal Support in an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorney prenuptial agreement

When couples choose to create a prenuptial agreement, their reason for doing so is often a desire to clarify each partner’s rights to certain property and assets both during the marriage and in the event of a possible divorce in the future. During this discussion of the couple’s finances, it is also possible, and in some cases beneficial, to determine how spousal support will be handled if the marriage ends in divorce.

Including or Excluding Spousal Maintenance in a Prenup

Under the terms of the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a couple has the ability to address “the modification or elimination of spousal support” in their prenuptial agreement. This means that you and your partner can iron out this often complicated matter well before a potential divorce and when the two of you are on good terms. Your prenup could address details including the amount and duration of spousal support, as well as the method by which it will be paid.

Alternatively, a prenuptial agreement could state that spousal support will not be part of any future divorce resolution. However, including such a provision can often result in problems later on. A partner who agrees not to pursue maintenance could find themself facing significant financial hardship when the marriage ends. In fact, the court can even decide to award maintenance outside the terms of the agreement to prevent such hardship. If the court finds that a spouse was coerced or manipulated into accepting terms that eliminated spousal support, the entire agreement may be found to be invalid.

Does a Spousal Support Provision Make Sense for My Prenup?

While eliminating spousal support in a prenuptial agreement can present challenges for both spouses, including it can be mutually beneficial depending on the circumstances. For example, it may be clear before the marriage that one spouse will be the primary financial provider, and that person may have significant business assets and other properties for which they wish to maintain ownership. A prenuptial agreement can protect that spouse’s property ownership while also providing for the other spouse’s financial security through spousal maintenance.

Addressing spousal support in a prenup may also be a good idea when both partners have established careers before the marriage, but one of you intends to step away from your career to focus on managing the household and raising children. In order to feel comfortable with this arrangement, that person may wish to ensure that they will have access to spousal support after a potential divorce.

Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney

Creating a legally valid prenuptial agreement that benefits both partners can be challenging, but it is possible with the help of an experienced Kane County family lawyer. At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we can work with you and your spouse to help you address spousal support and property rights fairly in the event you get a divorce. Call us today at 847-428-7725 to schedule an initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

 

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