Prenuptial agreements and premarital agreements allow engaged couples to define their financial rights and obligations before they get married. Most family law attorneys are seeing an increase in prenuptial agreements – especially among millennials. Modern couples are getting married later in life and often have significant assets, including business interests, cryptocurrency, and real estate. They may also have significant debts, including student loans and credit card debt.
A prenuptial agreement is a great way to protect financial interests and set the terms of spousal maintenance in the event of divorce. However, prenuptial agreements are not always enforceable by the court. This blog will discuss the requirements for prenuptial agreements in Illinois and some issues that can cause a prenuptial agreement to be unenforceable.
The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act
A prenuptial agreement provides a roadmap for how property and financial matters will be handled if the marriage ends through a divorce or the death of a spouse. Illinois courts follow the standards set forth in the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (IUPAA): Illinois prenuptial agreements must be in writing. Each spouse must agree to the provisions in the agreement and sign the document.
Prenuptial agreements can cover a wide range of concerns, including:
- Each spouse’s property rights and obligations, including the right to sell, use, transfer, or otherwise manage assets
- Asset disposition upon divorce or death of a spouse
- Spousal maintenance (alimony) terms if the marriage ends in divorce
- Estate planning concerns
There are also certain issues that may not be included in a prenuptial agreement. Illinois prenups cannot reduce or eliminate child support obligations or predetermine child custody matters, including the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.
Problems that can Invalidate a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements, like all legal contracts, must be entered into voluntarily. Spouses may not be coerced or forced into signing the prenup. A prenuptial agreement may be unenforceable if either spouse was not provided with an accurate accounting of the other spouse’s assets and debts. If a party hid assets, lied about debts, or falsified financial information, the agreement may be void.
The court may consider a prenuptial agreement to be invalid on the basis of unconscionability if the agreement was grossly unfair toward one party or provisions within the agreement were unlawful.
Contact our Palatine Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
If you are getting married, consider using a prenuptial agreement to protect your finances in the event of divorce or the death of your spouse. Contact Arlington Heights family law attorney Nicholas Richardson for help. Call 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential consultation.