Premarital Agreements are also known as Pre-nuptial and Ante-nuptial Agreements and all three names mean the same thing. They are agreements that are made by prospective spouses before their marriage to determine who gets or gives what (alimony and/or property) if the marriage ends in divorce or separation.

They are also extremely effective in protecting the inheritance rights of children. Ante-nuptial Agreements must be in writing and are effective only if and when the marriage actually takes place.


All lawyers are aware of the century old adage that “you can disinherit your children but you can’t disinherit your spouse.” This would be absolutely true under Illinois law (Probate Act) but a properly prepared premarital agreement can go around the Probate Act to allow one spouse to disinherit the other in favor of any their children (especially those from a prior marriage).

The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act governs these agreements. They are fully enforceable if the law is followed carefully.

The Act allows the parties to contract with respect to:

  1. The rights and obligations to property.
  2. The right to manage property.
  3. Disposition of property upon separation, divorce or death.
  4. A waiver of maintenance, or the modification of maintenance.
  5. The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.
  6. Life insurance policies.
  7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.
  8. Any other matter, including personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

To ensure that the Agreement will be followed by the divorce or probate court, both parties should have an attorney and negotiations should take place well in advance of wedding. If both parties have a lawyer, it becomes more difficult for the “victim” spouse to later argue that he or she did not understand the Agreement or that it was entered under duress.

It also doesn’t hurt if the actual signing of the Agreement is videotaped or done in the presence of a certified court reporter. This serves to verify that all of the statutory and case law requirements have been properly addressed including those pertaining to full financial disclosure.


We welcome hearing from you and we invite your questions. There is no obligation. No one will ever know that we spoke or what we discussed. Everything you say is privileged, confidential, and completely classified. We do not maintain a mailing list and will not contact you unless you ask us to.

Contacting us is easy!

Call 630-928-0600 


Click Here to submit a message through our contact form. 

If we are in court or in a meeting when you call, one of us will personally get back to you as quickly as possible. We are extremely discreet with callbacks and reply emails. Just leave your name and a secure email address or personal cell phone number.

Kari and Richard are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 80 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook and DuPage counties.