Pesce Law Group, P.C.


Naperville | Oak Brook | Burr Ridge | Lake Forest | St. Charles

What Is the Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement?

Posted on in Family Law

Elmhurst family law attorney for postnuptial agreementsA prenuptial agreement is a contract that spouses sign before getting married that describes property rights, differentiates marital property from separate property, and defines a spouse’s entitlement to spousal maintenance or alimony. Most adults are familiar with prenuptial agreements. However, fewer are familiar with the benefits offered by postnuptial agreements. If you are already married, a postnuptial agreement or “postnup” can provide you with the opportunity to gain the legal protections offered by a prenuptial agreement.

Provisions Typically Included in an Illinois Postnuptial Agreement

The issues addressed in a postnuptial agreement are often similar to those addressed in a prenuptial agreement. The main difference is that a postnuptial agreement is signed after the couple is married. Postnuptial agreements typically address:

  • How property and debt will be allocated to the spouses if the couple gets divorced

  • The amount and duration of spousal maintenance in the event of divorce

  • How assets will be passed to heirs upon the death of a spouse

Reasons a Married Couple May Sign a Postnuptial Agreement

Postnuptial agreements can be used for a variety of purposes. Some couples utilize a postnuptial agreement simply because they intended to draft a prenuptial agreement but missed their opportunity. Postnuptial agreements are often used to protect assets from division during divorce. For instance, if a spouse owns a business, he or she may use a postnuptial agreement to ensure that business assets are classified as separate property and not subject to division during divorce. Other types of property, such as real estate or high-value art or collectibles, may also be protected using a postnuptial agreement.

Spouses may also make arrangements regarding spousal maintenance in their postnuptial agreement. The spouses can negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement and put it into writing so that the issue is already decided if they decide to pursue a divorce. A spouse may also decide to waive his or her right to maintenance in exchange for a greater share of marital assets.

Some spouses use a postnuptial agreement similarly to a separation agreement. For personal or financial reasons, a couple may not be ready to divorce, but they may still want to decide how issues like property division and spousal maintenance should be handled if they do divorce. A postnuptial agreement allows them to address divorce issues without actually getting divorced. If the couple eventually decides to end the marriage, the postnuptial agreement will have already made decisions about many of the key issues, and this will simplify the divorce process considerably.

Contact a Naperville Postnuptial Agreement Attorney

If you are interested in drafting a postnuptial agreement, or if your spouse has asked you to sign a postnup, contact a DuPage County postnup lawyer at Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call 630-352-2240 for a free, confidential consultation.


Back to Top