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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.

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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.

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prenuptial agreement, DuPage County family law attorneyPrenuptial agreements (also called premarital agreements or "prenups") are legal contracts that are signed by individuals before they get married. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to establish the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can help protect a person’s assets and property and may also help determine how spousal support or alimony is awarded. Prenups can define what property is considered marital and what is separate.

It can be uncomfortable to bring up the subject of prenups with a person’s soon-to-be-spouse. No one wants to believe that their marriage will end, but sadly, many do. It is important to plan for the worst case scenario even if the couple currently has a strong relationship. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?

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prenuptial agreement, Wheaton family law attorneyBy now, you may have heard that actress Amber Heard is filing for divorce from actor Johnny Depp after just 18 months of marriage. Divorce filings are so common in Hollywood that, often, these cases barely warrant a mention, but one twist in this case is worth pointing out: the couple apparently did not have a prenuptial agreement.

That might not be a big deal if the couple had similar net worths, but in this case, Depp is estimated to be worth $400 million, while Heard’s net worth is thought to be around $9 million. Under California law, Heard is unlikely to wind up with hundreds of millions of dollars from the divorce settlement, but she could be entitled to a good amount of money that Depp made during the period they were married. Conceivably, she could receive tens of millions of dollars just for being married to Depp for less than two years. If nothing else, it shows the importance for high-net worth individuals of getting a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle.

Prenuptial Agreements in Illinois

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Posted on in Pets in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce laws,Many people develop close emotional attachments to their pets. Forcing these individuals to spend any length of time away from their animal companions is (for them) akin to asking them to remain separated from their spouse or child. But Illinois divorce courts do not treat family pets in the same manner as they treat children, no matter how emotionally attached one or both parties are to the pet. How, then, does an Illinois court decide who gets the family dog (or other pet)?

Pets Are Treated as Property in an Illinois Divorce

Like many other jurisdictions throughout the United States, pets are treated as items of property. This means that during the divorce proceedings the court will determine which party gets to retain custody and control of the pet. Like other items of property divided during the divorce, there are no “visitation rights” when it comes to seeing the family pet after a divorce. In other words, if the court awards the family dog to your ex-spouse, it will not order that you be allowed regular opportunities to visit with the dog.

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