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These Issues Can Invalidate Your Illinois Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

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.

A Prenup Cannot Decide Issues of Child Custody or Parental Responsibility

The inclusion of certain provisions in a prenuptial agreement, called “unconscionable terms,” can invalidate the entire document. These terms include provisions prohibited by law such as schedules for child custody or child support, and terms which are unreasonable. For example, a prenuptial agreement cannot have a stipulation regarding just one spouse’s appearance or weight. Other unconscionable terms can include financial and property provisions that are grossly unfair or one-sided.

Contact a DuPage County Attorney Family Law Attorney

To learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can benefit you and your future marriage, contact the experienced Naperville family law attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. Call 630-352-2240 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/04/02/five-reasons-your-prenup-might-be-invalid/#64e6f43519a5

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