The Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements in Chicago IL

Drafting prenuptial agreements in Chicago Illinois is a popular option for couples that want to protect their assets in the event a divorce becomes necessary, or for those who wish to delineate their expectations of marital conduct.  Prenuptial agreements in Chicago Illinois may address a number of issues; however, certain guidelines must be met for these agreements to be enforceable by law.

First, the prenuptial agreement must be signed by both parties for it to become enforceable.  A prenuptial agreement is not enforceable until the parties are legally married.

The courts will also carefully examine the nature of the prenuptial agreement to ensure that the parties provided full disclosure to each other regarding their assets and debts prior to the execution of the contract.  For example, if one spouse did not disclose the existence of a substantial bank account to the other spouse, the courts may declare the prenuptial agreement invalid because one spouse was unaware of the nature of the other’s assets.  The parties must disclose all assets and debts to each other prior to the signing of the contract.

The courts must also be convinced that neither party was under duress or was somehow forced into entering the prenuptial agreement.  Prenuptial agreements that heavily favor one spouse over the other may hint at such arrangements.  It is left to the courts, however, to determine whether these agreements were unfair or unconscionable.

In Illinois, the best interests of the children are the top priority in family court decisions.  These issues must be examined at the time of a dispute.  Therefore, the parties may not agree as to which spouse will have custody of the children if they divorce.  Similarly, Illinois law provides that the right of a spouse to support may not be unfavorably impacted by a prenuptial agreement.