What to Consider When Making a Premarital Agreement

What to Consider When Making a Premarital AgreementCreating a premarital agreement is negotiating aspects of your divorce before you get married. If you have been through a divorce before, you remember how complex those negotiations were. If this is your first marriage, the process may seem overwhelming and intimidating. When thinking about your premarital agreement, it helps to remember its purpose. You and your future spouse are determining how your properties would be divided in a theoretical divorce without the animosity of the divorce clouding your judgment. When making a premarital agreement, you should anticipate financial decisions that would need to be made during a divorce.

Premarital Properties

If you divorce, your properties would be classified as either marital or nonmarital. Your marital properties would be divided equitably between the two of you, while you would keep all of your nonmarital property. Distinguishing between marital and nonmarital property becomes more difficult when spouses have been married for several years. The clearest distinction is which properties were purchased before the marriage. Your premarital agreement can identify and protect your nonmarital assets, such as:

  • Real property;
  • Bank accounts;
  • Vehicles; and
  • Valuables.

Shared Properties

Once you are married, your marital assets will quickly accumulate. Anything that you purchase with shared money or that you both use can be considered marital property. Your premarital agreement cannot predict all of the properties you will share, but you can determine whether you would divide those properties equally. If one of you has greater premarital assets, you may want to give the other spouse a larger share of the marital assets.


Spouses share their debts during their divorce, as well as their assets. Theoretically, you should not be liable for your spouse’s premarital debt. However, you can further protect yourself by using the premarital agreement to identify what your spouse’s nonmarital debt is and whether you would have any responsibility towards it.

Spousal Maintenance

After a divorce, the spouse with the greater income may be required to make support payments to the other spouse. How long they last depends on how long the couple was married and whether either spouse’s income changes. In a premarital agreement, you can make decisions about spousal maintenance, such as:

  • The amount of maintenance that would be paid;
  • The duration of the payments; and
  • Expectations for the recipient to become self-supporting.

Crafting an Agreement

Premarital agreements are most useful for future spouses who have several premarital properties and debts that they want to keep separate in case of a divorce. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can identify the key assets that should be included in your agreement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.



Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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