While you may have heard of prenuptial agreements before, you might be hesitant to sign one based on the idea that they are only used for marriages likely to end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements could be an excellent way for couples to settle a variety of common marital issues before they tie the knot, and prepare for any eventuality that may crop up during their relationship—not just divorce.

If you would like to explore whether such an arrangement is right for you and your spouse, an Orland Park prenuptial agreement lawyer could review your situation and suggest possible ways one could help you. If you elect to pursue a prenup, a Reidy Law Office LLC family attorney could sit down with both you and your future spouse to construct an agreement that works for both of you and helps resolve potential future problems before they happen.

Prenuptial Agreement Laws

750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 10/2 defines a prenuptial—or premarital—agreement as an agreement between individuals who are contemplating marriage that becomes effective upon the date the union occurs. In order to be valid, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties, as per 750 ILCS 10/3. No other requirements apply when it comes to recording or filing the agreement.

Under 750 ILCS 10/4, prenuptial agreements may contain a variety of provisions that allocate each signatory’s rights with respect to any kind of property. This could include income. Prenuptial agreements may also contain provisions regarding the selling, transfer, or use of property, all of which an Orland Park attorney could help interpret and phrase appropriately.

Prenuptial agreements may indicate which property each party is to receive upon separation or divorce. Such agreements in Illinois may also indicate how property should be split upon the death of either spouse. If you are entering a second or third marriage and you have children from a previous relationship, you should have a tough conversation about what you want to happen to your property upon your death. The property could go to your children or your new spouse. There may be no right or wrong answer since your unique facts should determine what is best.

If you wish, you and your spouse may use your prenuptial agreement to decide that neither one of you would receive alimony in the event of a separation or divorce. Prenuptial agreements may not adversely impact the right of a child to support.

Modifying and Enforcing a Prenuptial Agreement

Under 750 ILCS 10/6, you may only modify a preexisting prenuptial agreement through another agreement that is signed by both signing parties. This new agreement may either amend or completely revoke the prenuptial agreement.

Barring this scenario, prenuptial agreements are valid and enforceable as long as the agreement is in writing and signed by both parties. As per 750 ILCS 10/7, an agreement may be unenforceable if either party did not sign the agreement voluntarily. As an attorney could explain, “duress” could invalidate a prenuptial agreement. If a husband asks a wife to sign the document while she is wearing her wedding dress and about to walk down the aisle.

A court may void the agreement if it contains any provisions that are unconscionable or unfair. If you and your spouse purposefully disguised or altered your financial information to gain an advantage over the other, a court may decide the agreement is unenforceable. A prenuptial agreement attorney in Orland Park could provide further information on enforcing or invalidating such an agreement.

Speak with an Orland Park Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Prenuptial agreements can be brief or extremely detailed, depending on how you want to structure your agreement. Legal assistance from an experienced Orland Park prenuptial agreement lawyer may be essential to creating an agreement that works for both you and your spouse. At Reidy Law Office LLC, we are dedicated to fulfilling every family and marital law need you may have. Contact us today to get started on your case and let us prove it to you.