Legal Services

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements in Illinois

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a legal contract created by the soon to be married couple who wish to establish legal protection for each other before getting married.
This agreement typically is used to list all of the property each person owns, and any debts, which specifies what each persons rights will be after the marriage.

Pre Nuptial Agreements Lawyer Services - Faye M. Lyon - Rockford IL

Who needs a Prenup?

Despite popular opinion, considering getting a prenup is not just for the wealthy or those who have substantial assets.


Here are a few reasons why some people choose to write up a Pre-Nuptial Agreement:

Pass along property to children from a prior marriage

A Prenup can be used to describe the details on what will happen to each spouse's property when they die. Without a Prenup, a surviving spouse may have the right to claim a large portion of the other spouse's property, leaving much less for the children.

Avoid discrepancies in case of divorce

By specifying in advance how each of their property will be divided, and if any spouse is entitled to spousal support (also known as maintenance and/or alimony), in the event of a divorce the division of property will be already established to help avoid unnecessary arguments.

Protect each other from individual debt

A Prenuptial Agreement can also be used to define each spouses debt and its obligations.

Properly writing a Prenup

As divorces and remarriages have become more prevalent, courts are favoring premarital agreements.  However, a Prenup that is found by a Judge to be unfair or fails to meet state requirements will be ignored and can cause delays.  If considering premarital protection such as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, talk to a family law attorney, such as Faye M. Lyon, to discuss options and avoid mistakes.  

Common questions about Prenups in Illinois

What if I do not write a Prenup?

If no premarital agreement has been made, Illinois property laws take effect and will determine who owns the property acquired during your marriage, as well as what happens to the property during a divorce or death.

What will a Preup Agreement protect?

While the list varies by couples, here is a non-conclusive list of the most common reasons people choose to legally attain a prenup:

  • Protect inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage
  • Protect business interests
  • Protect pensions or retirement accounts earned before the marriage
  • Protect family-owned properties
  • Shelter one person's debt from the other before marriage 
Are there limitations to a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Each state controls what is enforceable in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.  These are the most common areas of interest a state may not support in a prenup:

  • Parental Rights: A Prenup cannot protect legal parental rights. If a divorce is in the works and you have children, you will need to go through the process for determining allocation of parental responsibilities.
  • Maintenance: A prenup may not support the absence of spousal support (also known as maintenance and/or alimony) payments. The Court may find the agreement towards maintenance is unfair.
  • Signing Under Duress: If the Judge suspects that either party appeared to sign under pressure, they may choose to disregard the prenup and divide assets according to Illinois state laws.

Protect Yourselves

Thinking a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is right for you and your spouse?

Schedule a consultation with Rockford's Leading Family Law Attorney, Faye M. Lyon.

Scroll to Top