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Prenuptial Agreements in Illinois

Lafata Law LLC

The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (IUPAA) governs Prenuptial agreements in Illinois. The IUPAA provides a legal framework for the creation and enforcement of these contracts. Like any contract, it is important to have a competent attorney draft this agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two people before they marry. It sets forth the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of property, and potential division if the marriage ends in divorce or death.

Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements are legally binding as long as they meet certain criteria. These agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. Additionally, both parties must fully disclose their assets and debts. Further, the agreement must be entered into voluntarily, without coercion, duress, or undue influence. For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable in Illinois, it must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Voluntary Execution: Both parties must enter into the agreement voluntarily.
  • Written Document: The agreement must be in writing.
  • Signatures: Both parties must sign the document.
  • Full Disclosure: There must be a full disclosure of each party’s assets and debts.
  • Fair and Reasonable Terms: The terms of the agreement must be fair and not unconscionable at the time of execution.
  • Consideration: The agreement should specify what is consideration, although marriage itself is often sufficient.

General Provisions and Restricted Provisions in Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement in Illinois may include provisions related to:

  • Property Division: Specification division of property in the event of divorce or death.
  • Spousal Support: Agreements on alimony, including waivers or limitations.
  • Estate Planning: Directions for wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools.
  • Financial Responsibilities: Allocation of financial responsibilities during the marriage.
  • Debt Allocation: Specific handling of debts for each party.

In Illinois, certain provisions are not allowed in prenuptial agreements, including:

  • Child Custody and Support: Any agreement regarding child custody or child support is unenforceable. These matters are determined by the court based on the best interests of the child at the time of divorce.
  • Unconscionable Terms: Provisions that are deemed unconscionable, especially if circumstances change making the terms overly harsh.
  • Illegal Activities: Any provisions that involve illegal activities or terms that violate public policy.

Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool for couples to manage their financial affairs and protect their assets. The contract needs carefully crafting to ensure they meet legal requirements. Further, they must be fair and reasonable to both parties. If you are looking to draft a prenuptial agreement, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure its enforceability. Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Lafata Law at 630-481-6633 to schedule a free consultation.

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