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Most people are somewhat familiar with the general purpose of prenuptial agreements. Popular culture and entertainment news is often full of talk about celebrities’ prenuptial agreements, and how they enact such agreements to protect their immense and highly valuable assets. Though you know why celebrities sign prenuptial agreements, you may never have considered how beneficial your own prenuptial agreement could be.
Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements
Many people think that prenuptial agreements are designed to help only the very wealthy. This is certainly a misconception. In fact, prenuptial agreements, as provided by Illinois law, can benefit anyone considering marriage. The main goal of such an agreement is to protect your personal financial future in the event you and your future spouse divorce. Thinking about the possibility of divorce before you are married may sound pessimistic. However, considering a prenuptial agreement can save you a significant amount of emotional and financial stress in the future.
In Illinois, a prenuptial agreement is a legally enforceable contract between two people who are intending to be married. The content of the agreement varies by couple, though some basics are generally included. Often, these agreements list all property owned by each party, their debts, and what happens to property once the parties are no longer married. Prenuptial agreements are most commonly enforced upon divorce, but also have practical use in determining property rights after a spouse’s death.
Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements
The whole purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to decide what you want to happen to your property if your marriage ends. However, Illinois law requires the agreement be validly executed in order to be enforceable. In other words, the agreement must meet certain legal requirements before it can go into effect. Usually, one such requirement is for each party to make full financial disclosure to the other. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement cannot show signs that duress led to its creation; in order for the agreement to be enforceable, it must be shown that both parties consented to it without the use of coercion.It is important to remember that even if both parties consent to the terms of the contract, a prenuptial agreement may face future legal challenges. At Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys have helped countless clients gain peace of mind through prenuptial agreements. We will work closely with you to determine the best way to reach your legal and financial goals. Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation.