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When Can an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Be Considered Invalid?

Posted on in Family Law

Oak Brook prenuptial agreement attorney

Research shows that prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are becoming increasingly popular – especially for the millennial generation. Many millennials are getting married later in life compared to their parents or grandparents. They may already own a home, a small business, or have other substantial assets by the time they tie the knot. They may also have accumulated significant debts, such as student loans. A prenuptial agreement is a great way for couples of any age to define and protect their financial rights in the event that their marriage ends in divorce. If you are considering creating a prenuptial agreement, it is essential to know the common mistakes that can make this important legal document invalid.

Financial Transparency Is a Requirement

A prenuptial agreement mainly deals with financial issues such as property or asset division and spousal maintenance (alimony). In order for a couple to come to a resolution about the details of their prenup, they must both fully disclose all of their assets, income, and debts. If a spouse lies about his or her finances, then the terms contained in the prenuptial agreement are based on misinformation. If the couple does end up filing for divorce, and it is determined that the prenuptial agreement was founded upon false financial information, the document may not be legally enforceable.

A Prenup Must Be Entered into Voluntarily

In order to be valid, an Illinois prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed voluntarily by both spouses. If a spouse was forced or coerced into signing a prenup, the agreement may be invalid. The prenup may also be unenforceable if a spouse was mentally incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, or through other means at the time he or she agreed to the terms of the prenup. Spouses must have time to read and fully understand the provisions contained in the prenuptial agreement in order to voluntarily enter into the agreement. For example, a prenuptial agreement that is placed in front of a bride hours before her wedding is not likely to stand up in court.

Matters Prenuptial Agreements Cannot Address

Illinois prenuptial agreements cannot address issues related to the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) or parenting time (visitation). Furthermore, the prenuptial agreement cannot modify either spouse’s child support obligations. Illinois courts make parental responsibility and child support decisions based on factors that affect the child’s best interests at the time of the parents' separation, rather than basing decisions on any arrangements that were previously made between the parents. A prenuptial agreement also cannot contain provisions describing anything illegal, provisions about personal concerns such as household chores, or any provisions that are grossly unfair.

Contact a Burr Ridge Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

There are a number of problems that can make your prenuptial agreement unenforceable. If your agreement is declared invalid during divorce, the provisions contained in the agreement may be ignored entirely, and matters during your divorce may instead be decided by a judge. In order to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally binding and contains fair and reasonable provisions, it is crucial to speak with a qualified Western Springs family law attorney. Call Botti Marinaccio, LTD. at 630-575-8585 today and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss all of your family law concerns.


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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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