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Naperville divorce attorneyAs you approach the divorce process, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may already have most of the details covered. It is not uncommon for a couple to “pre-negotiate,” if you will, regarding the various necessary considerations before the petition for divorce is even filed. For the vast majority of cases, this is very welcome, and a much lower-stress alternative to a long, drawn-out courtroom battle, the impact of which may be felt by both parties for years into the future. For some couples, however, their negotiated agreement might not meet the court’s standards and could be rejected on the grounds of being unconscionable. It is important to understand just what that means so you can be prepared to avoid such a response from the court.

Negotiate with an Understanding of the Law

While you certainly do not need to be an attorney to reach a reasonable agreement with your spouse, it does help to have a basic grasp of what the Illinois divorce laws require. This is especially applicable to concerns for property division, and spousal maintenance. A negotiated agreement does not necessarily need to adhere to each and every provision in the related laws, but understanding what the law considers to be just and equitable is a good place to start. From there, you and your soon-to-be ex can create virtually any type of settlement you wish, as long as it is reasonably fair to both parties and your children.

Unconscionable Agreements

Before the final decree of divorce is entered, the court will need to approve your settlement agreement. For issues unrelated to parental responsibilities, parenting time, or child support, the court must include the agreement in the decree, unless the terms of the agreement are found to be unconscionable, or too one-sided. For example, if, for some reason, you presented a signed agreement to the court that gives 100% of the marital estate to your spouse without valid justification, the agreement would not likely be approved.

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