How much does an Illinois postnuptial agreement cost? This is a common question that married spouses living in Illinois often ask. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about postnuptial agreements and why they are important.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost in Illinois?
Postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts that couples execute after they are married that dictate how assets and debts will be distributed in the event of a divorce, separation or death. These contracts may be drafted due to an impending separation or simply because the couple wants to plan their financial future.
It is strongly encouraged that spouses hire an experienced attorney to consult with and draft their postnuptial agreement. Marital agreements are legally binding contracts that must include specific information and abide by Illinois laws. A lawyer will know how to draft an agreement that is legally enforceable.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement in Illinois is $761.81.
See Postnuptial Agreement Pricing by State
- District of Columbia
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Why Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement in Illinois?
In Illinois, divorce courts follow the rules of equitable distribution when dividing property and liability between parties. If a couple does not have a valid marital agreement all marital property will be distributed as the court sees fit based on what is most equitable.
Equitable distribution doesn’t necessarily mean “equal” distribution. Courts will take into consideration each party’s age, health, earning potential, assets, liabilities, and who has primary custody of any children when distributing property.
Many people do not like the idea of a court dividing their property so to protect their financial futures, they execute a postnuptial agreement. This way, if the marriage does end in a divorce, all decisions regarding property distribution are settled.
What's Typically Included in an Illinois Postnuptial Agreement
Every postnuptial agreement will be different and personalized to the couple’s assets, debts, and wishes. It is essential that a postnuptial agreement contains a full disclosure of each spouses' assets and liabilities. Failure to provide a full disclosure or a waiver of full disclosure could render the contract void and unenforceable.
Most marital agreements in Illinois will cover the following financial issues:
- Property division. How marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce including property acquired during the marriage, as well as property that was brought into the marriage by one or both spouses. While property owned prior to marriage is usually not considered marital property, if the owner of the property used marital funds to improve or maintain the property, the property may be considered marital property.
- Spousal support (alimony). Provisions for spousal support like the amount and duration of support that will be paid, or a waiver to the right to spousal support.
- Debt allocation. Allocation of responsibility for any debts incurred during the marriage.
- Inheritance rights. Provisions addressing inheritance rights and how property will be distributed upon the death of one of the spouses. This is especially important if either spouse has children from a previous relationship.
- Business interests. If either spouse owns a business that was started during the marriage, the postnuptial agreement should dictate how business interests will be handled after a divorce.
Many couples also include provisions regarding child custody and child support in a marital agreement. While these provisions can be considered by the court, the court will always be able to modify provisions relating to child custody and child support to ensure that the best interests of the child are preserved.
The state believes that the right to child support and visitation with both parents belongs to the child and the parents cannot take those rights away from the child. A postnuptial agreement cannot be used to waive child support obligations or deny a parent visitation.
Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement
Discussing a postnuptial agreement can be difficult, but many couples find these contracts to be very beneficial. Some benefits of executing a postnuptial agreement include:
- Asset protection
- Financial planning for the future
- A customized plan to distribute assets in a divorce
- Avoidance of a typical divorce settlement
- Savings on attorney’s fees in a divorce
The most disputed issue in a divorce is finances. With a marital agreement in place, the decisions about property division are already made and, in most cases, cannot be disputed.
Illinois Postnuptial Agreement Projects
Postnuptial Agreement Drafting in Illinois
It is always recommended that a couple hires a knowledgeable attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement. A lawyer familiar with Illinois law will know what can and cannot be included and enforced in an Illinois marital agreement.
Postnuptial agreement drafting usually involves a consultation with the couple and once the attorney has all the information he needs, he can begin drafting the contract.
Postnuptial Agreement Review in Illinois
In some cases, a couple may have an existing agreement, or they have drafted their own marital agreement from a template. While this works sometimes, it is important to understand that each state has different laws governing postnuptial agreements and the template may not cover those state specific laws.
Before executing a marital contract, couples are encouraged to have the document reviewed by a licensed attorney. The attorney will ensure that the contract is fair, follows all applicable Illinois laws, and will be enforceable in court in the event of a divorce or separation.
Illinois Postnuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
If a couple hires an attorney to draft their postnuptial agreement, they will incur legal fees. Drafting contracts requires the time and legal skill of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average postnuptial agreement drafting costs in Illinois are $1,075.00.
Illinois Postnuptial Agreement Review Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a postnuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will take their time going over the agreement and making edits as necessary.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average postnuptial agreement review costs in Illinois are $414.14.
How Do Illinois Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Most Illinois family law attorneys use an hourly rate to charge their clients. Under an hourly rate fee agreement, the lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for time spent working on the case or project.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family law attorney in Illinois ranges from $200 - $300 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like contract drafting, they may opt to charge a client a flat fee rate instead of an hourly rate.
In a flat fee payment structure, attorneys will provide the client with a flat fee price for all projected legal services. This often includes a consultation, drafting or review, and edits, but the client should double check exactly what services the flat rate includes.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a postnuptial agreement in Illinois is $761.81.
Get Help with an Illinois Postnuptial Agreement
Do you need help with a postnuptial agreement project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Illinois and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.