Archive for the ‘remarriage’ tag

Prenuptial Agreements for Second and Third Marriages

April 24th, 2015 at 6:04 pm

prenuptial agreement, prenup, Illinois family law attorneyWhether you are entering your first marriage or your fifth, it is important to protect your assets by signing a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that details your plans for your assets and support in the event of a death or a divorce. In Illinois, they are governed by the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.

Prenuptial agreements are especially important for individuals entering second and subsequent marriages because they are entering into a new agreement after being previously married and divorce. In essence, a marriage is a contract and when signing a new marriage contract, one must consider the terms he or she is bound to by his or her previous divorce contract.

Without a prenuptial agreement, your new spouse may be automatically entitled to your assets. Likewise, you may be entitled to his or hers. Prenuptial agreements are recommended for any individual who is planning to enter a marriage, but especially for business owners and individuals who have significant assets. Although it can seem unromantic to ask your partner to sign a prenuptial agreement, it is a realistic, responsible way to ensure that you retain your assets in a divorce or your children from a prior relationship still receive an inheritance after you pass away. It also allows you to have a full and frank discussion with your fiancée about your priorities and finances prior to entering into the marriage

What May Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

  • Designations about who may receive funds from your assets, such as your stocks, bonds, and financial accounts;
  • Money and property allocations to your children from a previous marriage or former spouse;
  • The beneficiaries of your retirement plan. If your current spouse opts to waive this right, you may instead name a former spouse or your child the beneficiary of your retirement plan after your death;
  • The amount of spousal support, if any, a spouse will receive in the event of a divorce;and
  • Each spouse’s responsibility to your jointly-accumulated or individually-held debts.

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must fully disclose all of their assets and debts. If either party is later found to have withheld information or lied about his or her financial circumstances at the time the prenuptial agreement was signed, the agreement may be invalidated.

Terms that can not be legally enforced may not be included in a prenuptial agreement. These include lifestyle choices like the number of children a couple has, where they live, and how they spend their time. Only tangible issues, such as those regarding a couple’s finances and assets, may be written into a prenuptial agreement.

Divorce Attorneys in the Chicago Area

If you are considering getting married for the second, third, or subsequent time, contact Anderson & Associates, P.C. to discuss the importance of signing a prenuptial agreement. The skilled Chicago divorce attorneys at our firm understand the unique financial considerations that individuals entering second and subsequent marriages face. Do not get married again without a prenuptial agreement. Contact us today to set up your initial legal consultation in one of our firm’s five convenient locations: Schaumburg, Orland Park, Northbrook, Wheaton, and downtown Chicago.

Remarriage and Spousal Maintenance

February 16th, 2015 at 8:56 pm

spousal maintenance, remarriage, Chicago divorce lawyerFollowing a divorce, many individuals may be required to make spousal maintenance payments (formerly known as alimony) to their former partners. Historically this was done to prevent a homemaker from becoming destitute after a divorce. With the rise of dual-income households, spousal maintenance is increasingly used to give the lesser-earning spouse the financial support he or she needs to complete his or her college education or job training and become fully self-supporting.

In Illinois, the laws that govern spousal maintenance are written into the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Under this Act, an individual who receives spousal maintenance may stop receiving this support when he or she remarries or cohabitates with another individual. If you are currently paying or receiving spousal maintenance, talk to your attorney about how getting married or moving in with a partner will affect your current maintenance situation.

Types of Spousal Maintenance

The traditional type of spousal maintenance is made in regular installments for the rest of the recipient spouse’s life, known as permanent maintenance.. This type of maintenance could also be terminated through the receiving spouse’s remarriage, cohabitation with another partner, or death of the paying spouse. Remarriage and cohabitation also terminate spousal support payments for individuals who receive rehabilitative maintenance, which is the maintenance designed to help an individual become self-sufficient.

With maintenance in gross, the money paid to the receiving spouse is usually given as one single payment, but can be made in installments. The key difference is that it is non-modifiable, so if the receiving spouse remarries before this payment is completed, the paying spouse still must make the payment.

Termination and Modification of Spousal Maintenance

Getting married again does not automatically terminate a paying spouse’s responsibility to his or her former partner. If he or she wants to pursue a modification or termination of the current maintenance obligation, he or she must file a petition with the court.

If the receiving spouse cohabitates with another partner, he or she spousal maintenance payments should terminate. Cohabitation is defined as a relationship having all of the characteristics of marriage, except for the formal marriage license. To determine whether a couple is cohabitating, the court will consider whether:

  • The couple has joint financial interests such as a lease on a rental property, purchased property, shared credit card, or shared bank account;
  • The couple spends vacations and holidays together; and/or
  • The couple engages in social and professional activities in the same manner as a
  • married couple.

The court also considers the length of the cohabiting couple’s relationship and the amount of time they spend together when determining whether or not a new relationship may terminate an individual’s current maintenance.

Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Illinois

Before moving in with your new partner or choosing to marry again after your divorce, contact our Chicago divorce attorneys to discuss how such a move may affect your maintenance with one of our firm’s experienced divorce attorneys. Our team of lawyers at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can walk you through the process of getting a modification or terminating your maintenance altogether. Call 312-345-9999 to schedule an appointment at any of our five offices in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, Orland Park and downtown Chicago.

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage

September 25th, 2013 at 10:43 am

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage IMAGEFewer Americans are opting to remarry after a divorce, according to a recent analysis by Bowling Green State University and reported upon in the Huffington Post. “The findings,” reports the Huffington Post, “showed that a mere 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans remarried in 2011. Back in 1990, 50 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans had married again.” Concurrent with this is the fact that the percentage of recent marriages in which one or both people is remarrying has been steadily declining in recent years. According to a 2006 Census Bureau publication, in 1996, 43.4 percent of all marriages within the past year involved a person who was remarrying. In 2001, that percentage had dropped to 37.8; in 2004, it had dropped to 35.9 percent.

One reason for this decline could simply be a skewing of demographics: with a substantial increase in the population of the elderly due to the ageing of the Baby Boomer generation, there are likely to be more widows who are old enough that they don’t remarry. Because women live longer, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they are more likely to be widowed than men—three times as likely, in fact. According to Census Bureau statistics, 48 percent of elderly women are widowed, as opposed to 14 percent of elderly men. There are not statistics available as to how many elderly widows are remarrying.

And yet sociologist Susan Brown told the Huffington Post that “the rising number of couples opting for cohabitation could be the reason” as well. According to 2012 Census data and reported by the Huffington Post, “the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled since the 1990s, from 2.9 million in 1996 to 7.8 million in 2012.” This is due in part to a shift in cultural attitude toward unmarried couples living together—what used to be considered “living in sin” is now more often thought of as a viable and financially-sound alternative to marriage. According to the USA Today and data from the Census Bureau, 7.8 million unmarried couples were living together in 2012. “Between 1990 and 2012,” reports USA Today, “the percentage of unmarried couples living together more than doubled, from 5.1 percent to 11.3 percent.”

Unmarried people looking to cohabit can still establish legally binding ground rules for living together and can spell out their respective financial obligations for covering rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other day-to-day living expenses by entering into a written cohabitation agreement prepared by an attorney experienced in family law matters.

If you or someone you know is considering cohabitation, divorce, or remarriage, it could be worth sitting down with a qualified professional. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area family law attorney today.