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When Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Invalidated?

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

DuPage County family law attorneyIn many modern marriages, prenuptial agreements are used to provide spouses with protection and make decisions about how certain issues will be addressed if the couple chooses to get a divorce. A prenup can make sure spouses can continue to own certain types of property after their divorce, or it can decide whether a spouse will receive spousal maintenance. A properly executed prenuptial agreement can help spouses avoid uncertainty during their divorce and make sure their financial interests will be protected. However, if disputes arise about the terms of a prenup, spouses should be aware that there are certain issues that may cause an agreement to be invalid.

Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

When a couple signs a prenup before getting married, this indicates that they both understand the terms of the agreement and are satisfied with the decisions made. However, disputes can sometimes arise during a divorce in which a spouse may claim that the agreement should not be enforced. When these types of disputes are addressed through litigation, there are only a few reasons why a prenup may be found to be invalid. These include:

  • The agreement was not executed correctly - Both parties must sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. If one spouse did not sign the agreement, or if it was signed after the date of the couple’s marriage, it may not be valid.

  • The agreement was not voluntary - A prenup may be unenforceable if one party signed the agreement based on coercion or duress. Ideally, both parties should be given enough time to review an agreement with an attorney and make sure they fully understand its terms. If one party presented the other with a prenup on the day of their wedding and stated that they would not go through with the marriage unless it was signed, this may be considered coercion.

  • The agreement was unconscionable - A prenup may be invalidated if it is grossly unfair to one party. In these cases, a person will need to show that their spouse did not fully disclose information related to the property they own or their financial obligations, that they did not have adequate knowledge of the other spouse’s finances when they signed the agreement, and that they did not waive their right to receive this type of financial disclosure.

  • The terms of the agreement were illegal - Prenuptial agreements are limited to addressing certain types of issues related to a couple’s property and finances. If a prenup includes decisions about other issues, such as child custody or child support, those terms will be unenforceable, and in some cases, the entire agreement may be found to be invalid.

Contact a Naperville Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

As you prepare for your marriage, Calabrese Associates, P.C. can work with you and your soon-to-be spouse to draft a prenuptial agreement that meets all requirements to be valid under Illinois law. We can also provide representation in cases involving the enforcement of the terms of a prenup, including helping you determine whether there are any issues that may make your agreement invalid. Contact a DuPage County prenup attorney at 630-393-3111 to get the legal help you need.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2087&ChapterID=59

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/04/02/five-reasons-your-prenup-might-be-invalid/?sh=2eb2c69c19a5

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