Postnuptial Agreements

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Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers in Chicago

A postnuptial agreement serves the same basic function as a prenuptial agreement does in the divorce process. Both are agreements that essentially outline how issues like property division, spousal maintenance, and child custody will be handled in the event of a divorce. The difference is timing–while a “prenup” takes place before the wedding, a postnuptial agreement is something that is signed after the wedding.

Call a Chicago postnuptial agreement lawyer for help in protecting your financial interests. Arami Law serves the entire Chicago Metro area and can be reached by phone at (312) 584-6355 or here online.

Why Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?

There are as many reasons for a postnuptial agreement as there are couples who sign them. Each situation is unique. 

But speaking generally, here are reasons why the couple might choose to go through this process:

One spouse wants to quit their job and take on a new business venture. It’s a risky move and the other spouse is less than enthusiastic about the idea. There’s a fear that the venture will collapse, and, in the event of a divorce, the entrepreneurial spouse will still get a share of the assets that the other spouse was continuing to build up. A postnuptial agreement might be the way they agree to let the one spouse pursue their dreams, while still addressing the other’s concerns.

A couple is going through difficult times and while they aren’t ready to file for divorce, they do want something in place to deal with the possibility divorce may come. This can be even more applicable when issues with child custody are involved or there are complex financial matters to be settled.

Those are two simple examples. The reality is that any couple who feels their interests, and those of their children, are best protected by a postnuptial agreement, can enter into this process with a Chicago Metro attorney.

What’s in a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement, like a prenup, must address the issues that would be involved in an actual divorce settlement. 

Those include the following:

  • Property Division: Illinois law requires that the property in a marriage be defined as separate (belonging exclusively to one spouse) or marital (jointly held). The marital property must then be equitably distributed. The equitable distribution laws that Illinois and 40 other states use do not mandate that marital property be split 50/50–but the split must be equitable in the judgment of the spouses who may have put a career on hold for the sake of children, elderly parents or some other objective that served the interests of the marriage.
  • Spousal Maintenance: Referred to colloquially as “alimony”, spousal maintenance is aimed at allowing both spouses to live the lifestyle they were accustomed to prior to the marriage, at least as far as possible. It is aimed at providing protection for economically disadvantaged spouses and for spouses who made career sacrifices aimed at caring for children, elderly parents or for other objectives beneficial to the marriage.
  • Child Custody: The decision has to be made on where children will live. Will there be one primary custodial parent, with the other holding visitation rights? Or will this be a joint custody where the children take turns staying with each parent. This has to be worked out and it must be very detailed, anticipating as many situations (summer vacations, holiday breaks, weekend schedules, etc.) as can be reasonably expected.

An experienced divorce lawyer from Arami Law will work to create a postnuptial agreement that passes muster in the courts. Call our Chicago office at (312) 584-6355 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

Will a Postnuptial Agreement Hold Up in a Cook County Court?

The court will ask some basic questions:

  • Was this agreement entered into willingly, with no coercion involved?
  • Does the agreement meet the standard of equitable distribution required under Illinois law?
  • Do the child custody arrangements meet “the best interests of the child”, the standard that overrides all other considerations?

In short, is the postnuptial agreement reasonable within the broad framework of what’s required under Illinois law? While blanket answers to whether an agreement will hold up is not possible without knowing specifics, we can say that a court would certainly have every interest in seeing a reasonable and fair agreement be approved.

Whether a postnuptial agreement meets these standards might depend on the caliber of your divorce lawyer. Kourosh Arami, the founding partner of Arami Law, has over 15 years of experience representing clients in Chicagoland divorce cases. Educated at the top schools in Chicago, Attorney Arami has devoted his career to helping clients in his hometown.

Call Arami Law today at (312) 584-6355 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

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- B.A. Lincoln
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