Prenuptial agreements—commonly referred to as prenups—are more popular than ever. People from all income levels use them to determine how they will divide property if they get a divorce down the road.
However, because prenups are legal contracts, there are certain laws that govern their creation and enforceability. This is why you will want an experienced family law attorney on your side when attempting to create a prenup with your future spouse.
At Vantage Group Legal Services, our network of seasoned lawyers have the tools and expertise to create a fair and equitable prenup for you and your partner.
Below, we discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about Illinois prenuptial agreements. This way, you can be more fully informed before proceeding with prenup negotiations with your partner.
Illinois Prenup FAQs
How Do Prenups Work In Illinois?
Valid prenuptial agreements in Illinois outline what property each spouse is entitled to if the couple divorces. In addition, a prenup can also designate each spouse’s responsibilities as to the couple’s debts in the case of divorce. Therefore, prenuptial agreements in Illinois work much the same way they work throughout the country.
As to the validity of a prenup, Illinois, along with multiple other states, has adopted a set of laws called the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). These laws govern how courts decide whether a valid prenup was created and is enforceable. Under UPAA, a court will usually find a prenup is valid if it was voluntarily signed by both of the future spouses and is not severely unfair or unjust.
How Much Do Prenups Cost in Illinois?
Because every lawyer charges different fees, there is no real “average” price for a prenup. However, attorneys fees for prenups usually range between $1,000-$10,000. If you are worried about the cost of a prenup, it may be comforting to know that at Vantage Group Legal Services, our pricing works a little bit differently.
Unlike most law firms, our legal group works on a subscription-based model. This means that we link you with an attorney based on your legal needs in exchange for a monthly fee. If you choose to move forward with your suggested attorney, they will help draft the legal documents you require. This substantially lowers the cost of individual documents like prenups.
Are Prenups Enforceable in Illinois?
In Illinois, prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable if they meet certain criteria:
- The agreement must be in writing.
- Both parties must voluntarily sign the agreement.
- The agreement cannot contain terms that are excessively unjust or unfair.
- Adherence to the agreement shouldn’t result in one spouse requiring public assistance.
- All assets and debts must be disclosed by both parties before signing.
It’s recommended to consult a family law attorney to understand the specifics thoroughly.
Does a Prenup Have to Be Notarized in Illinois?
In Illinois, a prenuptial agreement becomes effective upon the legal marriage of the parties. While both parties must sign the agreement, it does not need to be notarized. Additionally, there’s no requirement for the agreement to be signed in the presence of witnesses. However, to ensure clarity and enforceability, it’s recommended to follow all legal best practices.
Do I Really Need to Hire a Lawyer for My Prenup?
In Illinois, while it’s not mandatory to have an attorney for a prenup, it’s highly recommended. Although you can draft a prenuptial agreement on your own, ensuring its enforceability often requires adherence to specific legal formalities that attorneys are trained to handle.
To maximize the enforceability and clarity of the agreement, both parties ideally should seek independent legal advice during the prenup process.
Who Should Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenup agreements are not only for the super-wealthy. They are also great legal tools for people who:
- Own a business,
- Have children,
- Have already been married,
- Have differences in personal wealth,
- Have significant amounts of debt,
- Have an inheritance to protect, or
- Plan on being a stay-at-home parent.
As you can see, a wide variety of people can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. And, if you do not fall into one of those categories, it is still a good idea to get a prenup in case something changes in the future.
What Issues Can a Prenup Agreement Cover?
In Illinois, a prenup can cover a range of different topics. For example, prenups can address the following:
- Each spouse’s property ownership upon divorce;
- Each spouse’s rights to use, transfer, sell, manage, or dispose of property;
- Whether one spouse will pay the other alimony after divorce;
- Which state’s law will govern any disputes that arise under the agreement and
- Any other matter in which two people can legally contract.
Clearly, prenups are highly versatile instruments that can be used to protect both your own and your future spouse’s interests.
Will a Prenup Offend My Partner?
There are some negative stigmas around prenups that we need to address. Sometimes, people are afraid to bring up prenups with their partners because they think prenups will ruin the romance that many soon-to-be-wed couples enjoy. However, if a prenup is brought up under the right circumstances, the conversation can actually foster a healthy discussion about your financial future, financial goals, and a couple’s expectations of one another.
If you are worried about a prenup offending your partner, we recommend that you read some of our tips on how to bring up the topic below.
Explain the Benefits of a Prenup
Prenups are intended to create a fair outcome for both parties in a marriage; they are not designed to be one-sided. So, when bringing up a prenup with your future spouse, try to explain how the agreement will benefit both of you. We suggest that you reiterate the fact that a prenup can protect each person’s legal rights, property interests, and financial future if things take a bad turn.
Prenups Can Foster Genuine Conversations About a Couple’s Financial Future
One of the leading causes of divorce is money problems. So one of the best ways to avoid divorcing over financial disagreements is to have a genuine, open, and honest conversation about each future spouse’s financial expectations of one another. Prenup negotiations can foster these types of conversations and help ensure that each spouse is on the same page financially before they enter the marriage.
Prenups Protect Children and Future Children
A prenup is always a good idea if you or your future spouse have or are planning to have children. A prenup can be used to protect a child’s interest in property in the event of the death of either spouse or in the case of a divorce.
Get Your Prenup Done with Vantage Group Legal
At Vantage Group Legal Services, we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality legal representation on the market. Our business model allows us to pair the right lawyer with the right client based on their legal needs—so you will never be left wondering if your lawyer is right for the job. After you have subscribed to our legal services, we will pair you with a specialized network attorney who is right for your situation within 24 hours.
Further, if you are worried about the costs of finding an attorney to draft your prenup agreement, you don’t have to worry if you use our services. We offer free, no-pressure consultations to all of our potential clients.
To schedule a free virtual or in-person consultation, you can reach out to us online or call us by phone at 773-938-4747.