IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements are not tacky agreements as they were once thought. More and more people are entering into a prenuptial agreement before getting married to protect themselves in the event that they get divorced. Still, if you entered into a prenuptial agreement and are now worried that you signed away your rights, you can still take action. There are many ways to challenge a prenuptial agreement in Illinois and ask a judge to invalidate it.

Voiding a Prenuptial Agreement

When a judge deems a prenuptial agreement to be void, they may invalidate the entire agreement, or they may only strike down certain portions of it that they deem to be unfair. Certain provisions are also not allowed in prenuptial agreements. For example, in Illinois parents are considered to be financially responsible for their children until they are no longer a minor. As such, prenuptial agreements cannot waive child support obligations. In some instances, a judge may also strike down a provision that reduces or eliminates spousal support if they find that the person is entitled to receive support and will be left in financial hardship without it.

Reasons to Void a Prenuptial Agreement

There are many reasons a judge may invalidate a prenuptial agreement. These include:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen spousal maintenance is awarded in an Illinois divorce case, one spouse is ordered to pay the other financial support once the divorce is finalized. Spousal maintenance is one of the most hotly contested aspects of divorce, and it is also very misunderstood. Some believe only men are ordered to pay maintenance, while others believe that they will receive payments forever. These are just two of the most common myths surrounding spousal maintenance. The truths behind them are included with the top six misconceptions below.

Spousal Maintenance Is Permanent

Maintenance is only intended to help someone get back on their feet financially once the divorce is finalized. Once the recipient reenters the job market or can fully support themselves, the other may petition the court to stop the support payments. In other instances, maintenance may last for an even shorter amount of time, such as when the spouses are still going through the divorce and before it is finalized.

The Terms of Maintenance Are Permanent

Even while a person continues to make maintenance payments, the terms of the order can be modified. For example, a person paying maintenance may lose their job, or the recipient may get a better job. Both of these situations would change the financial capability of one party, which could result in the court modifying a maintenance order.

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Il divorce lawyerAlthough the majority of divorce cases are settled before they enter litigation, the reality remains that many cases require a trial. If your divorce is headed to trial, it is normal to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of going before a judge and stating your case. Still, there are certain things to remember that can help you feel confident throughout the length of the trial, and give you a better chance of a positive outcome.

Dress Appropriately

It may sound obvious, but you should always dress appropriately any time you have to appear in court. Do not dress casually or wear provocative clothing. Instead, dress professionally wearing either a suit or another item that provides a clean and neat appearance. This shows that you have respect for the entire process and the court and will win favor with the judge.

Keep Answers Short

During a divorce trial, you will likely have a lot to say and you will want the judge to know your full side of the story. However, it is best to keep your answers short and to the point. Providing too much information can actually make your case less compelling. Also, if you provide too much information, it could hurt your case. Your lawyer will always make sure that the most important information comes to light during the trial.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce forces you to think about your future, what you want it to look like, and how to protect and prepare yourself for it. While trying to place yourself in the best position possible once your divorce is finalized, you may try anything to keep your family home. The marital home is typically the biggest asset in any divorce and one that often both spouses wish to keep. Before you enter into a fight regarding the home, there are some very important questions you must ask yourself.

Is the Home Marital Property?

Under Illinois’ property division laws, marital property is subject to equitable division. This means that if you and your spouse purchased the home together after you were married, the court will divide the home fairly, although not necessarily equally. If you or your spouse bought the home alone before marriage, on the other hand, it is separate property and the purchaser can keep it outright. Typically, family homes are considered marital property, although that is not always the case.

Do You Have a Premarital Agreement?

More and more couples today are entering into premarital agreements prior to marriage. If you and your spouse did this and the home was mentioned in the agreement and the agreement is deemed enforceable by the courts, the terms included in the agreement will stand, even if it is no longer your preferred outcome.

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Il divorce lawyerMarriage is not for everyone. While some people need to stand up in front of family and friends during a ceremony, others like to simply live together as husband and wife, without any documentation to back that up. This latter situation is known as a common-law marriage and although it may work for some people, it is important for anyone that enters into one to understand how to protect their rights.

What Constitutes a Common Law Marriage

Of course, not everyone that lives together is considered to be in a common-law marriage. In most circumstances, people wishing to enter into this type of relationship must:

  • Live together for a certain amount of time
  • Have the legal right to marry
  • Intend to marry at some point
  • Recognize the other person as their husband or wife

Not all states recognize common law marriage and so, the above requirements only apply to those that do.

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