What You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements in Illinois
Prenuptial agreements are often associated with very wealthy individuals, and people who seek a prenup may be seen as believing that their marriage will not last. Because of this, a stigma was attached to these agreements, but this has changed over time, and prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more common.
When Is a Prenuptial Agreement Appropriate?
Nowadays, it is routine for marrying couples to discuss, agree to, and sign a prenuptial agreement before they exchange marriage vows and seal their marriage. A prenuptial agreement may be appropriate in a variety of situations, including:
One spouse has significantly more assets than the other spouse. In this case, it behooves the spouse with significantly more assets to have a prenuptial agreement in place to protect against the incidental or deliberate inclusion of their assets as marital property in a potential divorce. Ordinarily, assets obtained before a couple’s marriage are considered non-marital property and therefore not subject to division or sharing after divorce.
One spouse has children from a previous marriage. It would be prudent for the spouse with children from a previous relationship to ensure assets they owned prior to the marriage are preserved for those children in the event the second or subsequent marriage does not last.
Either or both spouses wish to preserve their sanity and civility in the event of divorce. The disputes involved in the end of a marriage can become expensive and litigious, especially in high asset and complex divorce cases. One way to minimize these expenses and keep things simple is to have a prenuptial agreement. This can allow a couple to resolve issues ahead of time and avoid the need for litigation in court, saving both parties time and money. This can also provide a couple with peace of mind that they can amicably address these financial and economic issues in a potential divorce.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable in Illinois?
Generally, yes, so long as the agreement is signed by both parties. The only exception would be terms related to child support, parenting time, and parental responsibilities. In those situations, the judge will decide the issues based on what is in the best interests of the child, not the parents.
A prenuptial agreement, however, cannot be enforced in Illinois if it is determined that the agreement was obtained by fraud or duress, or if it is unconscionable. Fraud is established if one spouse lied or concealed his or her assets at the time the prenuptial agreement is signed. Duress is established if it is shown that one of the spouses was induced by a wrongful act of the other to sign the prenuptial agreement. Such wrongful act can be found to be something as subtle as the other spouse not having the opportunity to consult with an attorney prior to signing the agreement. Unconscionability is established when the prenuptial agreement is oppressively and unreasonably one-sided.
Contact a DuPage County Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
It can be difficult for a person to ensure that a prenup is legal and valid without the assistance of an attorney who understands the relevant Illinois laws. If you are planning to create a prenuptial agreement before getting married, our knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorneys are ready to give you legal advice and help you create an agreement that follows Illinois laws and provides you with the protection you need. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-871-1002 today.