Tag Archives: prenuptial agreement

Reasons That Your Prenuptial Agreement Might Not Be Enforceable

prenuptial agreement, Wheaton family lawyers Prenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements or “prenups,” are beneficial legal tools couples can use to manage and protect assets. Although they are often associated with celebrity marriages, prenups are not only for the rich and famous. Anyone can benefit from the protections offered through this valuable legal tool, but those who choose to create a prenup must be sure to do it correctly. It is not uncommon for a couple to think that they have a legally-binding prenuptial agreement only to discover it is unenforceable during a divorce. There are several circumstances which can invalidate a prenuptial agreement.

Prenups Must Meet Certain Criteria to Be Legally-Binding

You may remember the outrageous comedy movie Liar Liar. In the film, Jim Carrey’s character is a divorce attorney helping a less-than-ethical client divorce her husband. Although the movie is filled with exaggerations and inaccuracies, the clip in which the client’s prenuptial agreement is found to be invalid in court is fairly realistic. The client had entered into a prenuptial agreement with her husband upon getting married, but it was discovered that she was only seventeen-years-old when she signed it. Minors cannot enter into legally-enforceable contracts such as a prenuptial agreement. So, if one or both of the individuals were under age 18 upon signing the prenuptial agreement, it will not be valid.

Both Parties Must Fully Understand and Consent to the Prenuptial Agreement

Another way a prenup can be invalidated is if it was signed under duress. If one of the spouses was coerced into signing the document against his or her will, it cannot be used to make decisions about property during a divorce. Similarly, if a spouse was not mentally coherent when signing the document due to drugs, alcohol, illness, or for any other reason, it will not be legally-enforceable. A prenup can also be invalidated if both parties did not fully read and comprehend the document. If the prenuptial agreement contains lies regarding income or debts, it can also be thrown out.

A Prenuptial Agreement Must Be Reasonable

A prenup will not be enforceable if it contains “unconscionable provisions.” Unconscionable provisions refers to rule or directions which are grossly unfair or unethical. For example, a prenup which gives all the marital assets to one spouse while assigning all the marital debt to another will probably not hold up in court.

Contact a Qualified Wheaton Lawyer for Help Drafting Your Prenuptial Agreement

The only way to be completely certain that your prenuptial agreement is legally-binding is to have it reviewed by a licensed attorney. For help drafting or modifying a prenup, contact our team of highly skilled DuPage County family law attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Call us at 630-871-1002 today.




Reasons Your Prenuptial Agreement May Be Invalid

invalid, DuPage County family law attorneyPrenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, are tremendously valuable legal tools that help couples planning to marry protect their assets and plan for their future. Although they have gotten a bad reputation due to outrageous celebrity marriages, prenuptial agreements can be useful to anyone getting married. Unfortunately, some people think that they have signed a legally-binding prenuptial agreement only to find out it is unenforceable during a divorce. There are several ways a prenup can be considered invalid.

A Prenup Must Meet Certain Requirements to Be Legally-Enforceable

Sometimes in movies or television, a character will scribble a contract such a prenuptial agreement on something like a napkin and it is assumed to be legally binding. Although it can be a good plot point for a fictional story, in reality, the courts only recognize prenuptial agreements which are properly constructed and executed. A prenup must be written, signed, and agreed upon by both parties.

Instances in Which Courts May Disregard a Prenuptial Agreement

There are certain circumstances which can cause a prenuptial agreement to be thrown out by the court. A prenup may be considered invalid if one or both spouses:

  • Were pressured into signing the document: If a spouse or a spouse’s family coerces the other spouse to sign the prenuptial agreement against his or her will, it may be invalidated;
  • Did not read the contents of the agreement: If one or both spouses failed to fully reiew the contract before signing it, it could be considered invalid;
  • Did not have time to think about the contract: If a spouse presents the other with a prenuptial agreement the morning of their wedding, there is not sufficient time to review its provisions adequately. A prenuptial agreement signed in haste will probably be nullified;
  • Lied about assets, income, or debts: A prenuptial agreement which has inaccurate information will not be enforceable;
  • Failed to provide necessary information: A prenuptial agreement which is incomplete may not stand up in court; or
  • Included unconscionable provisions: In order to be considered valid, a contract cannot have grossly unfair or unethical provisions. A prenuptial agreement which gives all of the marital assets to one spouse and all the debts to the other spouse, for example, would probably be set aside.

Experienced Attorneys for Premarital Agreements

Some states actually require engaged couples creating a prenuptial agreement to seek advice from separate and independent counsel. Although Illinois does not require couples to meet with an attorney, most experts agree that it is a good idea anyway. To schedule a consultation with a qualified Wheaton family law attorney from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002 today.





What Happens if a Prenuptial Agreement is Invalid?

prenuptial agreement, DuPage County family law attorneyThere was a time when many thought prenuptial agreements were only for rich celebrities or those who did not have faith in the longevity of their marriage. Today, people realize that prenuptial agreements are not only vital assets in the unfortunate event that a couple splits up or a spouse passes away, but are also tools which can help married couples manage their financial responsibilities while they are still married as well. When creating a prenuptial agreement, one must be careful to draft it in such a way that it holds up in court. Making certain mistakes within a prenuptial agreement can cause it to be considered invalid. In this case, the mandates set forth in the document will not be followed and the document will have been created in vain.

Dishonesty Regarding Assets

One of the major requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement is total transparency with regard to all assets, properties and debts. If a person enters into a prenuptial agreement but does not disclose all of his or her financial information or attempts to hide assets, the document may become useless. If a couple is divorcing and one spouse proves that the other was fraudulent in his or her financial reporting, the prenuptial agreement cannot be used to make decisions regarding spousal maintenance, property division, or family-owned businesses.

One of The Spouses Was Coerced Or Pressured

Prenuptial agreements or premarital agreements must be agreed upon by both of the individuals signing the agreement. Legal documents signed under undue influence cannot be considered binding. If one of the spouses is forced or tricked into signing the agreement, it may be considered invalid. Furthermore, if one of the spouses was not of sound mind due to illness or for other reasons when he or she signed the document, it can be thrown out. It is important to note that coercion or duress can be difficult to prove and that states have different standards for what it means to have been coerced into an agreement.

The Documents Were Not Properly Executed

In order to be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must be written down and signed by both parties. The signatures must also be notarized. Ideally, both spouses would have legal representation before signing any legal agreement, and in some states, this is required. Prenuptial agreements can also be considered invalid if they include imbalanced or ridiculous provisions. For example, an agreement which awards a huge majority of marital property to one person and leaves the other with nothing will probably not stand up in court.

Legal Aide You Can Trust

To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is enforceable and legally binding, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney for guidance. Call 630-871-1002 to set up your confidential consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.