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What Makes a Good Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?

Posted on in Prenuptial agreements

IL divorce lawyerEvery state has unique property division laws in the event a couple gets divorced. In contrast to 50/50 property division states, Illinois uses a method known as “equitable distribution” in which spouses, sometimes with the help of a mediator or judge, divide their property and debts in a fair manner.

This method makes sense for couples, but it might not work for others. Engaged couples who worry that Illinois’ equitable distribution method would not properly reflect their wishes or circumstances may want to create a valid prenuptial agreement before they get married. If a prenuptial agreement is legitimate, it supersedes state law regarding property division and allows couples to preemptively negotiate the division of property if they get divorced.

Why Would a Couple Create a Prenup?

Although prenuptial agreements used to be financial instruments mainly for the wealthy and legally savvy, they are becoming more and more common. Couples may benefit from a prenup if they fit into one of the following circumstances:

  • One partner owns or is a partner in an individual or family business and wants to protect their business interests if they get divorced
  • One partner has substantially greater wealth or assets than the other
  • One partner has premarital property that they want to ensure remains separate from marital property
  • One partner has children from a previous marriage and wants to ensure they are financially cared for in the event of death or divorce
  • Both partners feel there would be reduced conflict around divorce if they created a prenuptial agreement

Couples can create prenups for these reasons, or for no reason at all other than they simply wish to delineate some of the financial details of their relationship before getting married. Whatever the reason for creating a prenup, couples should write their agreements keeping in mind the fact that if the prenup is not legally legitimate, it could be thrown out and their preventative efforts wasted.

What Makes a Prenup Unenforceable?

For prenups to be enforceable, certain conditions must be met. If a prenup is considered totally unfair - for example, if it leaves one spouse with debt, no assets, and no right to spousal maintenance - this could be problematic. Likewise, if a prenup was signed by either spouse under duress, such as making the marriage conditional upon signing a surprise prenup shortly before a wedding, that prenup could be thrown out. Finally, a prenup must be entered into in good faith, meaning spouses should be honest and provide full disclosure of assets and liabilities. Hidden or secretive assets or debts could invalidate a prenup because one or both spouses simply did not have adequate information to make an informed decision.

Get Help From a Kane County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

If you need help writing a prenup or understanding whether a prenup you have already written is likely to be enforceable, a Batavia, IL premarital agreement attorney can help. The Law Office of Van A. Larson, P.C. has experience helping couples negotiate fair and legal prenuptial agreements so they can start their marriage on the right foot. Do your future self the favor of avoiding financial conflict in the event of a divorce. Schedule a free initial consultation with Mr. Larson by calling our offices at 630-879-9090 today.




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