The time before a marriage is often one of great excitement and anticipation. It can also be a time of enormous stress – especially if one fiancé announces unexpectedly to the other that his or her parents want a prenuptial agreement to be signed before the marriage can take place. The partner who is given the option to either sign a prenuptial agreement or cancel the wedding may feel a wide range of emotions – surprise, confusion, and uncertainty, just to name a few.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to take a deep breath and understand exactly what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot do. A prenuptial agreement may end up working to your advantage if it is written correctly.
You Cannot Be Forced into Signing a Prenup
No matter what your fiancé or his or her parents say, a prenuptial agreement signed under coercion or duress is not valid under Illinois law. So, if you are presented with a prenup a day before your wedding takes place, and you sign it because you are terrified of the implications of canceling the wedding, the prenup could be invalidated on the basis of duress, if you get divorced.
For a prenup to be valid, you need to be of sound mind, given the opportunity to seek legal advice of your own, and given time to consider the terms of the prenup.
What Can a Prenup Address?
Another important thing to know is that, generally speaking, prenups can only address financial matters between a couple. They cannot address child custody issues or child support, and they cannot address day-to-day matters, such as how often a couple will have sex or who will do certain chores. Any clauses that pertain to children or that seek to curtail the personal behaviors of either spouse beyond how money is used will likely be unenforceable.
A prenuptial agreement must not be unconscionable. It cannot leave one spouse impoverished after a divorce. It must also be in writing, so never sign a prenuptial agreement that has terms you do not agree to just because your spouse has verbally promised you something else will happen.
Get in Touch with a St. Charles, IL Family Law Attorney
Understanding whether a prenuptial agreement is in your best interests can be a difficult task, especially when emotions are running high. Fortunately, you can get the help you need from a Kane County, IL prenuptial agreement lawyer with MKFM Law. We can aid you in negotiating the terms of a prenup so that, if you do decide to move forward with the wedding and sign an agreement, it benefits both you and your partner. Call us today at 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation.