Don’ts of Creating Chicago Prenuptial Agreements

Chicago prenuptial agreements help to safeguard a person’s assets and legal interests.  They are effective tools in protecting assets acquired before a marriage and preventing a spouse from accumulating the other’s debt during marriage.  Some guiding principles of Chicago prenuptial agreements and what not to do include the following:

Do Not Discuss Parenting Time (Not sure how this happens in prenup??) 

Illinois law prohibits a prenuptial agreement fromdesignating who will be the primary parent, allocation of parenting responsibilities or making declarations about child support.  Illinois law states that a child has a right to be supported by both parents.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to contain provisions restricting child support in a prenuptial agreement.

Do Not Include Personal Information 

Prenuptial agreements should be based on financial issues, such as how to divide property, how to treat income earned during the marriage and how to divide debt.  Provisions regarding how families will celebrate holidays or how often a couple will have romantic dates are not financial matters and will not be enforced by a court.  Having invalid provisions can ultimately result in the court finding that the entire agreement is invalid.

Don’t Forget about Debt 

Many parties are focused on making provisions regarding assets and income in the prenuptial agreement.  However, parties should also pay attention to debt.  In Illinois, spouses can be held liable for the debt of the other spouse when it is joint debt or the spouse co-signs for the other spouse.

Do not Do It Alone 

Prenuptial agreements are complex.  This requires the careful analysis by a skilled family law lawyer who is familiar with Illinois laws on prenuptial agreements.  It is important that you carefully review a prenuptial agreement before signing it.  A family law lawyer can explain what the prenuptial agreement says and work to modify it to advance your goals and protect your interests.