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February 20, 2012

Katy Perry Risked Losing Lots of Money without a Prenuptial Agreement: Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Illinois

Recording artist Katy Perry and her husband, British hair spray afficiando and comedian Russell Brand, have announced their plans to divorce after less than two years of marriage. That seems like a long term commitment after the snap-of-the-finger length of the wedded bliss of Kim Kardashian. It is reported that Katy and Russell did not have a prenuptial agreement. Recent reports have said that the couple has wisely agreed to resolve their issues amicably. Each is to keep his/her own property.

It is amazing that stars of that magnitude and income failed to have a prenuptial agreement. This document, if drafted and signed properly, spells out the details of who gets what upon divorce. Child custody and support may be addressed but the court is not obligated to follow it.

The key to making a prenuptial agreement stick is to have full disclosure of each party's debts and assets prior to the wedding. Each party needs to have his own attorney. There cannot be any duress. The document must be given to each person ahead of time to provide time to review it, Handing a bride a legal document to sign as she walks down the aisle is not going to create an effective prenuptial agreement. That doesn't stop people from trying to perpetrate this fraud. The sad truth is that sometimes it sticks because of intimidation by the wealthier party.

The spring wedding season is almost here. If you are taking a trip down the aisle, please consult an attorney. Marry in haste, repent at leisure. Plan for a possible dissolution now.

Illinois has laws permitting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements under 750 ILCS 5/503. If you didn't have the foresight to obtain a contract before the wedding, you can have your attorney draft one after the wedding. Many marriages end in divorce. Plan for the unwanted, just as you would by purchasing home, life and auto insurance.

Written by Attorney Amanda Rubel Portes