If you are preparing for a divorce and you signed a prenuptial agreement before your marriage, you may be concerned about how this will affect you in the process. Every divorce is different, as is every prenuptial agreement. Having a valid prenup can alter the course of your divorce, which is why it is important to speak with a Rolling Meadows divorce attorney right away.
The Legalities of a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois
Divorce laws are designed to be fair. The purpose that many people have for wanting their future spouse to agree to a prenuptial agreement is that it can throw off the presumed 50/50 split during a divorce.
This does not necessarily mean that one party is trying to take advantage of the other. The uneven distribution of assets may be due to this being a second or third marriage and the couple wants to preserve assets for their own children. Prenups are also popular with couples where one future spouse is coming into the marriage with significant debt. Either way, prenuptial agreements are binding legal contracts between future spouses.
Provided everything is legally enforceable in the agreement, it is a binding contract. During your divorce, the family law judge will determine whether or not the prenup is valid and, if so, will proceed to sign off on the terms of the signed agreement.
When Might a Prenuptial Agreement Not be Enforced?
Like other contracts, one party may exercise their right to challenge the document. While the argument that you did not read it will not get it thrown out of court, a number of other arguments could have it declared invalid (either full or in part).
You may hear people say that you can put everything and anything in a prenuptial agreement. While this is true to some degree, you cannot put anything in that is illegal or goes against public policy. Provisions that require you to act in an illegal manner may be invalidated, or the judge may throw the entire agreement out.
Did your spouse keep his or her financial situation in the dark before you signed the prenup? Without a full disclosure, how are you expected to know the full financial picture of the person you are marrying?
If you did not read the agreement, but for good reason, that might be enough to have a judge throw it out. In other words, simply not reading does not count, but being forced to sign under duress or your spouse refusing to let you have an attorney review it first might count in your favor.
In addition, prenuptial agreements that are very one-sided or unfair to one spouse may also be declared invalid by the judge. No two prenuptial agreements are alike, nor are the circumstances under which they were signed.
Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney Today
If you have questions about a prenuptial agreement that your future spouse is asking you to sign, or you are preparing for divorce and already have one, let a skilled Illinois family law attorney help. Contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule an initial consultation.