For some married couples in Illinois, there was a decision before the marriage to have prenuptial agreements as a protective device if the marriage failed. Even couples who did not have a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married will decide that post-nuptial agreements are necessary. This can be a confusing issue for some. With any agreement – prenuptial or postnuptial – it is important to have a basic understanding of the law and what can be in the agreement. It is also important to understand if the agreement can be amended. Having a basic grasp of these facts is wise and it is always a good idea to have legal assistance.

The prenuptial agreement can address what rights and obligations the parties have with property that they had as individuals or as a couple regardless of when it had been acquired or where it was located. It can dictate the right to purchase, sell, utilize, transfer, abandon, manage, or do anything else with the property.

When the couple has separated, divorced or one of the parties has died, the agreement can oversee how the property is disposed of. With spousal support, it can address whether it is modified or eliminated. With a death benefit, the agreement can determine ownership rights. If there is an estate planning document, the prenuptial agreement can handle the provisions. Provided it does not violate the law, any issue including personal rights and obligations can be part of a prenuptial agreement.

Regarding the amendment of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, it can be changed or revoked if the parties have a written and signed agreement to do so. This will be enforceable without consideration. Many couple seek or already have prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements in place. Whether it is a wealthy couple, one of the parties had assets before the marriage and one did not, or there are factors that came about after the marriage, understanding what can be in these agreements is key. A law firm that has experience in family law, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements and more can help.