The Chicago Family Law Blog

Prenuptial Agreements in Chicago

Often associated with movie stars, famous musicians and other wealthy jet-setters, prenuptial agreements are contracts signed by both partners before the wedding. Called “prenups” for short, these contracts typically list each partner’s assets (property, money, investments, etc.) and liabilities (debts). The prenup outlines how marital property, in addition to premarital property, is to be divided in the event of a marriage; and contrary to popular belief, they often are used by non-wealthy people to protect a family business or other such assets. In the absence of a prenup, property and debts typically are divided right down the middle.

In the event of a divorce, courts go through prenuptial agreements with a fine-toothed comb; so it pays to have it done right. And while a prenup is hardly a romantic start to a pledged life of happiness together, it’s a good idea to have an Illinois family lawyer take a look at it before you sign.

Recently in Prenuptial Agreements Category

What Can Be Protected in a Prenup?

Summer is wedding season, which means winter is wedding planning season so it's time to ask yourself, "should you get a prenup?"

Don't scoff; a prenup isn't just for pessimists or people who think their marriage will fail. After all, you're already signing a contract to get married. At least a prenuptial agreement is a contract that you can have some control over.

Contrary to what celebrities may indicate, a prenup isn't all about keeping what's yours in the event of a divorce. It may actually help you avoid problems in your marriage.

Working My Way Back to You: Reconciling After Divorce

The Chicago Tribune asked an interesting question the other day: can it ever be a good idea to remarry your ex?

Of course, after reading this blog, one might wonder if it is ever a good idea to marry at all. Or even, what legal considerations come along with reuniting, even if it does feel so good?

Russell Crowe Divorce: Prenup Limits Wife to $25 Mill 'Pittance'

A pittance you say? Well, not exactly. Still, compared to many other Hollywood divorces, $25 million is chump change. Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer met on the set of 1990’s The Crossing. They were married in 2003. Fortunately for Mr. Crowe, the couple agreed on a prenuptial agreement that protects the vast majority of his assets, reports the Sidney Morning Herald.

Reports as to the reason for the dissolution of the marriage vary. Some allege that Spencer was having an affair with her Australian Dancing With the Stars partner. The duo were seen spending extensive amounts of time with each other outside of the show and in June, an Australian tabloid published a snapshot of the two wrapped in each others’ arms, reports the Examiner. Others say that the Crowe-Spencer union had been in trouble for some time due to Crowe’s hectic schedule, and the two have lived in separate houses for the past year.

Top Three Mistakes Celebrities Make in Marriage and Divorce

Some of you might suspect that this blog is turning into TMZ with brains. We’re flattered, really. However, we’re not just about celebrity stalking and schadenfreude. Celebrity divorces (and marriages) can provide valuable lessons for the everyday person. Because they are often rich and famous, their nuptials and dissolutions provide magnified and exaggerated looks at the same mistakes that plague all people.

In light of that, here is a recent review of a few of the most common mistakes made by celebrities (and normal folks) in either their days of bliss or days of discord.

Weight Loss Clauses, Cheating Clauses, and Other Crazy Prenups

Crazy? Or brilliant? Sure, a weight loss clause in a prenup is demeaning, and a clause that pays bonuses based on the numbers of babies birthed is a bit unfair. But when two intelligent adults come to an agreement on marital expectations, isn't that exactly the point of a prenuptial agreement?

The New York Post recently interviewed a divorce lawyer who described some of the more preposterous provisions of prenups she's put together for clients -- for example, a payout for the wife if the husband cheats, and the wife not being allowed to cut her hair.

One truly absurd prenup sought to force the wife to have an abortion if pregnancy occurred, as the husband was already in his 40s and did not wish to have children, the lawyer told the Post.

Is that even legal?

Divorce-Probability Study: It's the Woman's Job to Cook and Clean

An interesting study confirms what many men of older generations have always maintained: The woman should be the one in the kitchen. That's because a gender-equal couple risks a much higher probability of divorce.

The study found that in "modern" relationships, in which household chores are split approximately 50/50, the divorce rate was about 50 percent higher than for relationships in which the woman handled the majority of the chores.

The study, however, was conducted in Norway. It's not clear how the results would translate with regard to American couples.

Your Feet Are Cold For a Reason; Don't Wed if You Doubt

Your pending nuptials are just around the corner. He's kinda perfect. Kinda. Yet you can't help but feel like there's something fleeting, something not quite eternal, about your love.


Yeah, we know. Momma said it was just cold feet. Everyone gets cold feet. However, according to a new study done by the University of California, Los Angeles, 19% of women with cold feet ended up divorced within four years. Only 8% of those who were certain ended up with negated nuptials, reports USA Today.

Lawyer's Trainwreck Marriage Shows Need for Prenups, Planning

Amour fou. Crazy love. Smitten. These are all terms to describe that feeling when you fall blindly in love in an instant. It can be the greatest feeling in the world while it lasts, but it can also blind you to reality.

The Sun-Times shares the story of Christian, an attorney who fell quick and fell hard. At age 30, he met a 25-year-old dancer. She was gorgeous, "exotic," and had an "engaging personality," he told the paper. They got married six months later.

Fixing Your Finances: Get a Postnuptial Agreement

So, you didn't take our advice. Bad move. Though you neglected to put a prenuptial agreement in place prior to your grand and glorious wedding, there's still a glimmer of hope for financial security in the form of a postnuptial agreement.

A postnuptial agreement is simply a prenuptial agreement signed after the pomp and circumstance of your wedding. Much like a prenup, it defines each party's separate assets and provides clarification and security in the event of a divorce. Note that the longer you have been married, the more entangled your assets become. Getting divorced after a year is much easier than getting divorced after 10 years and three kids. A postnup clears up the confusion that comes with 10 years of asset commingling.

The Real Lesson From Camille and Kelsey Grammer's Divorce: Prenup

In 1997, Kelsey Grammer was in the midst of his "Frasier" fame. He had also appeared as the same character in the show "Cheers" back in the 1980s. He had a production company, Grammnet, that was producing quality programming. He also married a former Playboy model, Camille Donatacci.

At that point in their lives, Kelsey had already achieved fame and fortune. He was worth millions. Camille had also achieved some fame, including appearing in a few music videos, working on MTV, and appearing in Playboy.