What Factors Could Invalidate a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?
Many couples decide to create a prenuptial agreement together before they get married. Although nobody wants to think about their impending marriage ending in divorce, the period before the marriage is actually a great time to negotiate a prenup because partners have plenty of goodwill towards each other and want to look out for each other’s best interests.
Unfortunately, many people discover that the prenuptial agreement they created is not legally enforceable. Even worse, they generally find this out at the worst possible time - when the divorce proceedings have begun, and they are depending on their prenup to hold up in court.
This article examines the most common factors that cause prenups to be invalid. If you have questions about your personal prenup, an experienced family law attorney is the best person to give you advice.
Lack of Financial Transparency
Because the primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to protect spouses’ financial interests in the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement must contain accurate and complete financial information from each spouse. If a spouse was not honest when the prenup was being created, then the other spouse made decisions based on invalid information - and that might make the prenup unenforceable.
Manipulation or Duress
If a spouse was truly manipulated into signing a prenup, and that fact is discoverable to a divorce court, the prenup may be unenforceable. Some conditions that may be considered duress include announcing the desire for a prenup right before the wedding and making the wedding contingent upon the prenup, or pressuring a spouse to sign when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Sometimes spouses get married when one spouse has substantially more income and assets than the other spouse. It is entirely possible to protect unbalanced assets in a prenup. However, if the prenup would leave one spouse depending on public aid or entirely homeless and without resources, it is likely to be considered unenforceable.
No Written Record
No matter how much they mean it at the time, a couple cannot verbally agree to a prenuptial agreement. This is true even if there are witnesses present. A prenup must be written down and signed by both spouses to be considered enforceable.
Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney
If you are facing divorce and are concerned that your prenuptial agreement may not be valid, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney right away. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we know how important it is to protect your assets during divorce and will work hard to give you the representation you need. Contact our offices today for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.