Pre-Nuptial Agreement | Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog - Part 2
If you have signed a prenuptial agreement and are getting a divorce, does it mean that you have signed away your rights during divorce proceedings? The answer to that question can be complicated, especially given the passage of the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (IUPAA), which made it more difficult for parties to challenge the validity of a prenuptial agreement during divorce proceedings.
That being said, the IUPPA only applies to prenuptial agreements signed after 1990 and still allows some leeway for courts to invalidate prenuptial agreements.
One consideration the court might factor in is whether it believes the terms of the prenuptial agreement are “unconscionable.” For example, a judge may decide that the terms of the prenuptial agreement were so overwhelmingly one-sided that it is blatantly unfair and can therefore be invalidated.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract between spouses, which is entered into before the couple gets married. This contract often contemplates and determines the rights and responsibilities of each party in areas such as property division, maintenance, distribution of any assets, and other family law matters in the event of a divorce/separation. It may also address estate planning issues in the event that one of the spouses dies during the marriage. A pre-nuptial agreement cannot impact a child’s right to receive financial support, child custody or involve anything criminal. Pre-nups can eliminate legal gray areas and provide a couple with more security for their future. They are not for everyone, however.
There is a negative stigma surrounding pre-nuptial agreements, according to The Huffington Post. However, though formerly seen as a detriment to marriage and even an inducement to divorce, pre-nuptial agreements may actually strengthen a marriage. While pre-nuptial agreements recognize the possibility of divorce, it does not mean divorce is inevitable. Thinking of a pre-nup as legal protection for when you divorce is inaccurate and is not the point of a pre-nup. The point is to make sure your future is secure, no matter what happens. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared. There are a few factors to consider when determining whether you should get a pre-nup:
Recently, Forbes featured an article that discussed how divorce can complicate business ownership, particularly if the value of a business increased during a marriage. The value of a marital business in Illinois will usually be included in marital assets that will need to be split between divorcing spouses following a business valuation. However, there are steps a party can take to protect the business and their investments. If they have a greater stake in the business or if they consider the business to be separate property, they may be able to prevent a business valuation from being conducted.
While marital and separate property can be incredibly complicated, typically, one party will claim a right to a certain percentage of the other party’s business, whether or not they contributed directly to growing it. One of the biggest steps a person can take to protect their business during a divorce is to have a pre-nuptial agreement in Illinois in place before the marriage begins. In order for the prenup to be most effective, it should contain certain elements, including:
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