Illinois Divorce and Family Law Weblog

Helping You and Your Family get through DivorceSM.
Weblog of DuPage County Attorney Raiford D. Palmer, focusing on divorce and family law.
(Copyright© 2005-2008 by Raiford D. Palmer. All rights reserved.) This blog is for advertising only and the contents are not legal advice.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Illinois Prenups, Prenuptial Agreements, Premarital Agreements

The premarital agreement or "prenup" is a binding contract allowed by law in Illinois for people who will marry. The agreement can be used to protect and keep assets separate between spouses, predetermine division of property in the event of divorce, and more.

Prenups are very important. We would recommend them for anyone considering marriage. They may not seem romantic, but they do protect both spouses. Anything that makes divorce simpler and easier (and cheaper!) is worth the expense. And if you think divorce won't happen to you, just remember about half of all married couples get divorced. It is a reasonable precaution, like having an estate plan. In fact, prenups can be an important part of estate planning.

They can include a termination provision as well--that is the terms of the prenup could state that it expires after you have been married for a certain time (like 10, 15, 20 years).

If you have another lawyer do a prenup for you, be sure it includes a full disclosure of all assets, liabilities, and three years of tax returns for both spouses. It prevents the only real weakness of the prenup--the claim that the other spouse failed to disclose his/her assets and liabilites and fraudulently led the spouse to sign the agreement.

We do recommend you have prenups signed as long before the marriage as possible, and at least thirty days before. You can do it closer to the marriage, but it is better to avoid the appearance of coercion or some kind of rushed/forced signing.

Consider having our firm prepare a prenup for you. Please call attorney Raiford Palmer at 630.434.0400 Ext. 165 for a free consultation.

All prenups are done for a flat fee.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Illinois Divorce Law -- "The 'bulldog' lawyer"

We hear potential clients asking about this from time to time. They will say: "My spouse has a real bulldog for a lawyer, so are you a tough guy who can stand up to him?" The answer is that I have yet to be "scared" by any lawyer! My reaction whan I hear the "bulldog" line is simply that I know my client may be in for a longer and more expensive case than necessary. Bulldogs bite people for no reason, and "bulldog lawyers" basically do the same thing (metaphorically of course)! They like to put on a big show for thier client, telling them how they will "get" the other spouse, etc. They give the other lawyer a hard time in the halls of the courthouse and act rude to the other party to impress their client.

My approach is to treat everyone professionally and with respect until shown that I should do otherwise. The bottom line is that it is far better try to be pleasant with the other spouse and/or their lawyer than to just be "tough" all of the time. While you may be upset with your spouse (and you likely have good reasons for that!) if we adopt a "mean and nasty" attitude we will more than likely cost you a lot more time and money than if we act in a professional and courteous manner. The law is what it is, and the facts will not change either.

We can't make your case better by being "tough." You didn't hire a prizefigter or a mercenary, you hired us to solve your problems. If you see me smile when I am talking to your spouse's attorney, it is not because I am giving in on an issue. I can be pleasant and stick up for you at the same time. Sometimes we do have to be tough--and we will do what is necessary when the time comes. I can promise you in the long run our approach gets good results a lot faster than the "Terminator" approach.

We ARE tough when we need to be, by doing what is needed to prepare your case. When you need action taken to solve a problem, we get it done for you. I won't "cave in" on important issues. I will argue vigorously for you in court. The client is in charge of how the case is ultimately handled.

Most family law cases settle, very few go to trial. Being unreasonably "tough" just generates more litigation and court time, costing you big bucks. We aren't here to get rich from your case--I want you to be satisfied with our service and treat you fairly so you tell all of your friends. That is how I can help you and grow our business! Please call any time to discuss your family law, divorce, prenup, or post-divorce issues--free of charge as always.

Please call Illinois divorce lawyer Raiford Palmer at 630.434.0400 Ext. 165 to consult about your family law case.