A prenuptial agreement can outline different marital issues between you and your partner if you go down the path of marriage termination. However, you can’t write on a random paper and claim it’s prenuptial—it must be valid and agreed upon by both spouses. These contracts are binding, but some things can void a prenuptial agreement in Illinois. Knowing what can invalidate your agreement is important for ensuring your agreement is solid and not compromised.
The prenuptial agreement is, as the name states, an agreement. If one party is under duress, the agreement can be invalid. Duress can look like many things, but it commonly looks like one spouse manipulating the other into signing the prenup instead of both individuals signing consensually.
Manipulation can look very different, depending on the situation. One clear instance of manipulation is surprising your spouse with the prenup right before the wedding and not agreeing to the wedding unless they sign the prenup. For a prenuptial agreement to be legally sound, you and your partner must be aware of all the conditions outlined and be ready and willing to sign it with no manipulation involved.
While verbal contracts can be legally binding in some instances, they are incredibly difficult to prove and enforce in many instances. There must be a written agreement for prenuptial agreements, and both parties must willingly sign it. Even if a witness is present when a couple makes a verbal agreement, it is not enforceable and will not hold up in a court of law.
A significant part of marriage is disclosing everything you own and all your debt to your partner. Putting all of this information on the table lays a positive foundation for your marriage, but it’s also necessary to obtain a prenuptial agreement. For these agreements to be valid, both parties must make financial disclosures regarding their assets and debts. If either or both spouses lie on their financial disclosures, the prenuptial has no basis, and the court will not enforce it.
If one spouse holds all the resources in a marriage and their prenuptial leaves them with all the assets in a marriage termination, the court may not validate that agreement. If a prenuptial leaves one spouse in a dramatically worse situation, like needing public assistance while the other lives comfortably, the court will deem that prenuptial invalid.
A lot can void a prenuptial agreement in Illinois, and if you want to ensure your agreement is solid, you must know these things. Better yet, knowing these variables before creating an agreement ensures your prenuptial agreement is legally sound. If you’re getting married and want a prenup, your best bet is to contact the Chicago premarital agreement attorneys at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. We can help you create a prenuptial agreement that works for you and your partner.