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Is My Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable?

 Posted on January 18, 2024 in Prenuptial Agreements

IL family lawyerJust because you have a prenuptial agreement in place does not necessarily mean that the court will enforce it when you get divorced. There are a number of issues that might render your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement invalid, such as coercion, fraud, and failure to disclose assets and debts prior to signing. It is somewhat common for a bride or groom-to-be to get coerced into signing a prenuptial agreement, often at the last second before walking down the aisle. Sadly, fraud is also not uncommon. There are also public policy reasons why a court might not uphold such a contract. Generally, an agreement that is so drastically unfair that one spouse would be left unable to meet their basic needs cannot be enforced. If you are worried that an unfair or unreasonable prenuptial agreement might be used against you when you get divorced, it is important to work closely with an experienced Rolling Meadows, IL, divorce lawyer

Common Reasons a Prenuptial Agreement Could be Discarded

Your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might not be enforced if one of the following factors is present:

  • Illegal clauses - There are limits as to what spouses can agree to in their marital contracts. For example, if your agreement contains provisions about who gets custody of the children, those provisions will likely be discarded. All child custody decisions must be made at the time of divorce and in the best interests of the child. 
  • Coercion - While simply refusing to marry you without a prenuptial agreement is usually not in and of itself considered coercion, presenting you with an already-written and one-sided agreement on the eve of the wedding might be. 
  • Fraud - If you do not remember signing a prenuptial agreement and were unaware that you had one, your spouse may have forged your signature. 
  • Extreme unfairness - Unconscionable prenuptial agreements are not likely to be enforced. Your agreement is likely to be considered unconscionable if its terms would leave you unable to meet your basic needs or eligible for public assistance. 
  • Lack of financial disclosure - If your spouse failed to disclose an accurate portrait of their financial affairs before you signed the prenuptial agreement, the court might consider the agreement the result of trickery and, therefore, unenforceable. For example, if your spouse failed to tell you about a valuable asset or hid a substantial debt, these circumstances may amount to a lack of proper disclosure. 

You are not alone if you have a prenuptial agreement that is drastically unfair to you. An attorney may be able to have this type of agreement set aside. 

Contact a Cook County, IL, Divorce Lawyer 

Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley is committed to helping people who were coerced or tricked into signing an unfair prenuptial agreement have their contract dismissed. Experienced Rolling Meadows, IL, divorce attorney Don Cosley will do all he can to ensure a fair divorce. Contact us at 847-253-3100 for a complimentary consultation. 

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