Most people go into marriages taking their vows seriously. For many, “til death do us part” rings true. However, for some, that is not always the case, and their union ends in a divorce. When a marriage dissolves, one of the most disputed topics is often the division of assets and property. During the divorce process, you may need to go back to your prenuptial agreement (prenup) and examine its validity. Under Illinois law, a prenuptial agreement is a contract between two potential spouses that is used to define the division of finances and assets in the event of divorce. As stated in the term “prenuptial,” this contract is made before the nuptial and goes into effect once the couple gets married. However, this agreement is not set in stone. Just like other legal contracts, the validity of a prenuptial agreement can be challenged. The results can lead to portions of the contract being unenforceable, or the entire agreement being invalidated. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you determine whether or not your prenup is valid.
Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act
If a prenuptial agreement is found to be unenforceable, then court proceedings can follow. Some of the reasons this contract might be deemed unenforceable according to the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act include:
Coercion: If one of the parties was pressured into signing the agreement, then he or she did not sign it voluntarily but instead was coerced into making the decision. However, evidence to support the claim that one of the parties did not make the decision based on his or her own free will is needed. Coercion can take the form of blackmail or threats, which can be documented if they are sent via email or text messages on a phone. In addition, pressuring a spouse to sign the prenup hours before the wedding ceremony does not allow adequate time to review it.
Unfair Disclosure: When the agreement was executed, one party was not given a fair disclosure of the other party’s property or financial obligations. In these situations, the contesting party did not voluntarily, in writing, waive the right to disclosure of the other party’s property and financial obligations. Also, the party had no past knowledge of this right and it is therefore considered to be unconscionable.
Spousal Support: In certain cases, the prenup is unenforceable if the agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support, and this in turn causes undue hardship on one of the parties. It is important to note that his or her circumstances were unforeseen at the time of the agreement.
These are just some of the many reasons that a prenuptial agreement may be deemed unenforceable. That is why it is essential to seek professional legal advice when drafting or contesting this type of legally binding document. An experienced family lawyer can make sure you receive your fair share of the marital assets and property.
Contact a Downers Grove Family Law Attorney
Couples typically do not enter into marriage thinking that they are going to get divorced. However, it does not hurt to prepare for the unexpected, and that is why many spouses create a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. In some instances, the document may be contested by one of the spouses during a divorce. A skilled DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyer can explain your options if your prenuptial agreement is found to be invalid. At SBK Law Group, we will make sure your rights to the marital estate are protected regardless if you are the one contesting or enforcing the prenup. To schedule a private consultation, call our office today at 630-427-4407.