To protect individual property, safeguard business assets, and various other reasons, many couples today are choosing to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. While no one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, it can be beneficial to both parties to prepare for the possibility, since almost half of all marriages do end in divorce. By preparing a valid agreement, both parties can protect their financial interests and remove any uncertainty should a divorce come about. However, there are certain issues that can invalidate an agreement that both spouses should understand.
Issues That Can Invalidate an Agreement
Whether the agreement is signed before the couple gets married or once they are already married, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement still has the same function and can be used during the divorce to settle issues including the division of marital assets and spousal maintenance payments.
However, there are a few reasons why such an agreement may be invalid and unenforceable. These can include:
- One spouse did not sign voluntarily – The agreement could be ruled invalid if one spouse signed the agreement under duress or based on coercion. This can include being pressured to do so by their spouse, being rushed to sign before the wedding could take place, or lacking the mental capacity to understand the agreement.
- The agreement includes illegal or invalid terms – If an agreement included provisions about child support, child custody, or other issues that cannot be included in such an agreement, those terms or even the whole agreement can be ruled invalid. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may only address issues surrounding property and finances.
- It was not executed correctly – The agreement is only valid and enforceable if both parties sign the document. In cases of a prenuptial agreement, the agreement must be signed before the marriage takes place to be valid.
- The terms are grossly unfair – If the terms of the agreement are too unconscionable or severely lopsided to favor one spouse, an agreement may be invalidated by the court. This can include if one spouse can show that they did not have full financial information about their spouse when the agreement was signed, including having hidden or undervalued financial obligations or assets.
Contact a Naperville Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
For questions about the validity of your prenup or postnup agreements or for any other divorce-related legal needs, you can trust the DuPage County divorce attorneys of Calabrese Associates, P.C.. Whether you are looking to enforce a valid agreement or argue that a previous agreement should be invalidated, our lawyers can help with your representation. We can also help you and your soon-to-be-spouse craft a valid agreement under Illinois law. Call our office today at Calabrese Associates, P.C. to set up a consultation.