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Naperville prenuptial agreement lawyersMore and more people are beginning to understand the vast benefits a prenuptial or premarital agreement can offer an engaged couple. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, are not just for celebrity couples or the rich. Just as a person who buys car insurance does not intend to get into an accident, signing a prenup does not mean that either party intends for the marriage to end. Prenuptial agreements protect both parties’ property rights in the event that the marriage does end in divorce, but can also provide other benefits aside from those gained during divorce. It is very important, however, that individuals creating a prenuptial agreement abide by the criteria set forth by Illinois law. A prenup that does not meet these criteria can become invalidated and essentially worthless at the time of divorce.

Soon-to-Be-Spouses Must Be Honest About Finances

One of the most essential elements of a valid prenuptial agreement is a full disclosure of property and assets from both parties. Couples must list all of their property and debt as part of the prenup before decisions can be made about how that property and debt should be divided if the marriage ends. If one or both spouses were dishonest in their financial reporting during the creation of the agreement, it is possible that the prenup could be thrown out during divorce.

There Must Not Be Duress, Coercion, or Mental Incapacitation

As with any legal contract, a prenuptial agreement must be entered into voluntarily. If one spouse is forced into signing a prenup or only agrees to the prenup because of an ultimatum, the document may be considered invalid. Couples also cannot be mentally incapacitated at the time of signing. For example, if one spouse had been drinking at the time of agreeing to the prenup, it could be invalidated. Of course, it can sometimes be challenging to prove that an individual was not of sound mind when he or she signed a prenuptial agreement. Illinois does not require parties entering into a prenuptial agreement to retain individual legal counsel, but doing so is highly recommended.


Naperville prenuptial agreement lawyerThose getting married who want to protect their financial rights often choose to sign a prenuptial agreement.  Prenuptial agreements, also called “prenups” or premarital agreements can be to protect assets including real estate or a family-owned business in the event of divorce. Signing a prenup does not mean that a couple plans to divorce just as someone who buys car insurance does not intend to get into a wreck. Prenuptial agreements are a type of contract which will help determine how assets and debt is divided and whether or not spousal maintenance is awarded during divorce. There are several things which can invalidate a premarital agreement, however. If you are considering using a prenuptial agreement, make sure it meets the criteria set by Illinois law. Prenuptial agreements which do not meet the requirements or contain invalidating provisions may be thrown out entirely during a divorce.

Parties Must Willingly Sign Prenup

One of the most important requirements of a valid premarital agreement is the willfulness of each party.  If one of the parties was pressured or coerced into the agreement, it may be considered invalid. For example, if one member of the couple threatens harm to the other unless he or she agrees to the prenup, the document will not be legally enforceable. Furthermore, a prenup can be invalidated if a party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise not in the proper frame of mind when agreeing to the document. 

Documents Must Be Properly Executed

Prenuptial agreements must be physically written down and signed by both parties to the marriage. Couples will generally need four signed copies of their prenup to be kept by each spouse and their legal representation. A valid prenuptial agreement must contain an itemized list of all of the couple’s assets, property, and debt. Failure to be transparent about finances can completely nullify a prenup. If one or both parties does not disclose all of these items, undervalues assets, or is otherwise dishonest about finances, the prenup may be worthless.


Naperville Prenup Lawyer

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract created before the beginning of a marriage or civil union. The document commonly outlines what should happen with any income, assets, or other financial responsibilities should the relationship end in divorce but can include anything either party deems pertinent. 

While these arrangements are largely made famous by celebrities and other high-asset individuals, prenups are not limited to this income bracket. With the right legal guidance from a qualified attorney, couples from all financial backgrounds can benefit from prenuptial agreements.

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