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Wheaton Family LawyerMany engaged couples feel that prenuptial agreements are unromantic. It can certainly feel less-than-hopeful when you and the person you are about to marry must discuss who keeps what in the event that you divorce later. During your engagement, you were likely focused on the details of your wedding and your dream of living happily ever after with your soon-to-be spouse. Once you are married, you may begin to think about whether you should have made a prenuptial agreement. Many married people believe that they have missed their chance to reach an agreement governing important issues. Fortunately, it is not too late to create what is called a postnuptial agreement. Both you and your spouse should be represented by an attorney when you begin the process of creating a postnuptial agreement. 

Why Should My Spouse and I Make a Postnuptial Agreement? 

A postnuptial agreement is not a harbinger of divorce. Rather, it may be a good sign for your marriage if you and your spouse are able to communicate and compromise effectively enough to reach an agreement you are both willing to sign. There are many practical reasons why even the happiest of couples should have an agreement in place. Postnuptial agreements cover much more than the possibility of divorce. You can use your postnuptial agreement to require each other to maintain an estate plan naming each other as the primary beneficiary so that you are protected if only death can part you.

Further, no one can predict the future. You know who your spouse is now, but people may change over time and in response to different conditions and events. There is always the possibility that over the years, your spouse will change as a person. For example, your spouse could suffer an injury and become addicted to pain medicine, causing them to destroy your marital finances. Or you may simply drift apart over time, developing different interests, political opinions, or worldviews. It is important to ensure that you are protected no matter what the future may hold. 


Wheaton Divorce LawyerWhile most legal sources will strongly recommend using a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement in nearly all cases, there are quite a few negative things said about them. When you are engaged or newly married, you are likely to hear a lot of unsolicited advice pertaining to prenuptial agreements. Some of your friends may believe that these agreements are unromantic, while others may tell you that they are absolutely necessary in order to protect your personal assets in the event of a future divorce. It can be difficult to tell what is true about prenuptial agreements and what is misinformation. Before you begin working out an agreement with your soon-to-be spouse, it is best to speak with an attorney. An attorney can answer any questions you have about how prenuptial agreements work and what they should include. 

Common Misinformation About Prenuptial Agreements

If you are trying to decide whether to use a prenuptial agreement, it is helpful to know what is true and what is false about these legal contracts. Common myths include: 

  • They are only for the wealthy - Many people believe that prenuptial agreements are only necessary in cases where one party is wealthy and the other is not. However, even couples who are starting out without significant wealth can benefit from these agreements and use them to establish what each party does already own. 


Wheaton Child Custody LawyerWhen couples enter into a prenuptial agreement, they often want to include provisions related to property division and spousal support. However, some couples may also want child custody and visitation provisions. In Illinois, the state’s family law statutes do not allow couples to include child custody provisions in prenuptial agreements. If you need legal assistance in ensuring your prenuptial agreement is legally binding, contact a family lawyer to ensure you can create an ironclad prenup void of costly errors. 

How Are Child Custody Matters Handled in Illinois? 

Under Illinois law, decisions concerning child custody must be made with the best interests of the child in mind. The court has various considerations when making a custody determination, such as the child’s current relationship with their parents, the parent’s ability to care and provide for the child’s needs, and the age and gender of the child, among other things. While prenuptial agreements are designed to allow couples to make their own decisions about property rights and other financial matters when it comes to anything related to children, the law has determined this is an area that needs to be decided on an individual basis and, according to the child’s needs.

It is also essential to understand that prenuptial agreements are subject to review by the court. If a couple includes a child custody provision in a prenup and later divorces, the court will not be bound by that provision. Instead, the court will use the best interests of the child standard to decide custody, regardless of what the prenup says. 


Wheaton Divorce LawyerHigh-asset divorce cases are divorce cases involving significant wealth. These types of divorces are often much more complicated than a typical divorce. Property division, spousal maintenance, and other financial issues are often a significant source of this complication. However, child-related issues can also be difficult to handle in a high-asset divorce.

Maintaining a Child’s Lifestyle

In high-asset divorces, children often expect a certain standard of living because of the family's financial resources. The child may attend a private school, receive one-on-one tutoring, or participate in expensive extracurricular activities. Illinois courts seek to preserve a child's standard of living and avoid divorce consequences that negatively impact the child. After all, divorce is between the adults, not the child.

Child Support in High-Asset Divorce Cases

Many divorced parents are subject to a child support order. The parent with the lesser share of parenting time is typically required to pay child support to the parent with a greater share of parenting time. In most cases, child support is determined by a calculation involving both parents’ income. However, the typical calculation method may not be appropriate for situations in which parents make especially high incomes. Courts have the discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines and consider additional factors when determining an appropriate child support payment amount in these cases.


Wheaton Family Law AttorneyDivorcing parents have many different options for raising their children as divorced co-parents. For some divorcing spouses, it makes sense for one parent to take most or all the parenting responsibilities and parenting time. For example, if one parent works in another state, frequently travels outside the country, is incarcerated, or cannot provide a safe home for the children, sole custody may be in the child’s best interests.

In other cases, parents want to share responsibility for their child and ensure they both spend enough time with the child. Illinois law used to refer to this type of arrangement as joint custody. However, the language used in Illinois child custody laws has since been updated. A custody arrangement in which both parents have a relatively equal amount of parenting time is called shared parenting time.

How Does a Shared Parenting Arrangement Work?

When parents get divorced in Illinois, they fill out a document called a parenting plan. This plan will address multiple crucial issues, including how the parents will make significant decisions about their child, such as where the child will go to school. The parenting plan while also describe the parenting time schedule, which is the schedule for when the child will live with each parent. In a shared parenting arrangement, the child spends at least 146 days a year with each parent.

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