Uncertainty about the future can leave many engaged couples nervous about their marriage, and they may wonder whether getting married is the next best step. Fortunately, a prenuptial agreement can be a good option to make use of for any couple intending to get married. While they may have previously been reserved for the rich and famous, prenuptial agreements have become more and more common as couples have opted to get married later in life with more financial assets to bring into their marriage. It is always advisable to sign a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle, since this legal agreement can help alleviate any concerns that may arise regarding the possibility of divorce. Prenups can save you a great deal of time and protect you from emotional turmoil in the future, but only if all of the terms are valid and enforceable. You should be aware of certain problems that could make your prenuptial agreement invalid, including the following:
The Prenup Is Fraudulent
Spouses may attempt to conceal or undervalue their assets to keep them out of the property division process in a potential divorce. However, it is required that each spouse fully disclose his or her assets before signing a prenuptial agreement. If it is found that a spouse did not fully disclose their assets or financial information, a prenup can be deemed invalid by a court.
The Prenup Was Not Drafted Properly
Some couples may attempt to use online forms to create a prenup without the help of an attorney. This is never advisable, since it is easy for essential steps to be missed without a professional’s eye for detail and understanding of the legal issues that must be addressed. If your prenup was not drafted properly, and there is necessary language which is missing, it may not be enforceable.
The Prenup Was Not Signed Freely
It is required that both parties sign a prenuptial agreement with free will. If the agreement was signed under coercion or duress, or if it was signed by a person who did not have the mental capacity to understand the agreement, a court will consider the document invalid. This can be difficult to prove in court, but a skilled family law attorney can help demonstrate whether or not a person signed a prenup willingly.
The Prenup Is Clearly One-Sided
In some cases, a person may use a prenuptial agreement to take advantage of their spouse in the future. Spouses who are unfamiliar with divorce law and/or what a divorce agreement typically includes may not realize that the terms of their prenuptial agreement clearly benefit their spouse. This can also happen to those who choose not to have legal representation when signing a prenup. A court may choose not to enforce a prenuptial agreement if it unfairly favors one spouse.
The Prenup Contains Decisions About Children
Some couples may attempt to include provisions about their parental responsibilities in the event of a divorce. This is especially common for couples who had children together before getting married. Any terms in a prenup regarding child custody, child support, and parenting plans will not be accepted in court. Illinois law requires that all child-related decisions be made in the best interests of the child at the time of the divorce, not in advance. Including provisions in a prenup regarding your children and parental responsibilities may not invalidate the entire agreement, but any terms related to child custody or other child-related issues will not be accepted by a court.
Contact an Oak Park Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
If you decide to create a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you review and understand all of the terms included in the agreement. Without an attorney’s help, a single feature or term of your prenup could potentially invalidate the entire agreement. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. has over three decades of experience helping Chicago area couples with all of their family law needs. Whether you want to create a prenuptial agreement, or would like an experienced family law attorney to review the terms of an already drafted prenup, Mr. Machroli can help you. Contact our Hillside prenuptial agreement lawyer at 708-449-7404 to schedule your free consultation.