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What Factors Can Make an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?

 Posted on January 21, 2021 in Prenuptial Agreement


When people get married, the traditional vows state that the union is ‘til death do us part. Unfortunately, not all couples live happily ever after. Whether the relationship fails due to outside influences or addictions, or the partners simply grow apart, a divorce may be the best option for everyone involved. During the divorce process in Illinois, a couple must decide how to divide their property and assets. This may be especially important if there is a family-owned business or other high-net-worth assets at stake. If the couple had a prenuptial agreement (prenup) in place, these determinations may already be made, making the marriage dissolution process much easier and faster. However, there are certain factors that can make a prenuptial agreement invalid in Illinois, so it is important to avoid making a mistake when creating this legal document.

Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act governs all prenuptial agreements. In order to be legally binding, a prenup must be put in writing and signed by both spouses. If a couple decides not to get married, any premarital agreement they made is voided. Prior to signing a prenup, both parties should disclose all of their financial information to each other, including their income, any property they own, and outstanding debts.

A prenuptial agreement typically outlines how specific issues will be handled in case a couple gets divorced, but it can also provide spouses with certain protections and transparency throughout their marriage. A prenup can clarify how each spouse’s existing obligations shall be met and provide expectations regarding financial matters. A few of the main topics that a prenuptial agreement includes are:

  • The division of assets and property
  • Spousal maintenance/support (alimony)
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Wills and trusts

What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?

In most situations, a prenuptial agreement that was drafted properly by an attorney and signed by both spouses will be enforceable in a court of law. However, there are some situations in which a prenup may be found to be unenforceable or invalid, such as the following:

  • It was signed under duress, meaning one spouse was coerced or forced into signing it.
  • The terms are considered grossly unfair to one party.
  • Spousal maintenance was left out or eliminated, causing one spouse undue hardship.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

Although you may think it will never apply to you, a premarital agreement can be essential in the event of a divorce. An experienced DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyer will help you safeguard what is important to you and your spouse. The distinguished law firm of Stock, Carlson & Duff, LLC has more than 40 years of experience and is well-versed in all family law matters, including the importance of drafting a prenup to protect your rights and interests. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, call our office today at 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation.


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