Many people in Illinois considering matrimony have many things under consideration as their wedding date approaches. While it may be difficult to think of the relationship ending, creating a prenuptial agreement can often significantly ease the process should a divorce occur. This may be especially important for those who own their own business or expect a large inheritance and want to protect their interests during the property division aspect of a divorce. However, in order for a prenup to be valid, there are several considerations.
First, couples must consider whether the agreements included in their prenup are valid. While this document can include a variety of different financial aspects, it can not determine child support obligations. If unlawful provisions are included, it is possible that the illegal clauses only would be stricken without invalidating the agreement in its entirety.
A spouse can make many concessions in a prenup, including declining spousal support or taking responsibility for all bills. However, if a judge determines that the agreement is “unconscionable,” the agreement could be invalidated. An unconscionable contract is one that is “grossly unfair” to one party, resulting in significant financial hardship as a result while the other party prospers.
There are many other factors that could impact whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable, impacting the document’s potential influence during the property division process of a divorce. Perhaps most important is that each member of the couple has his or her own counsel review it before signing; in fact, some states require this step. An attorney with experience with Illinois law can ensure that the interests of his or her clients are met and that they fully understand all aspects of an agreement before signing.