Not all prenuptials are created equal

Although prenuptial agreements are becoming more common in Illinois and throughout the country, there remain misconceptions regarding some of their basics. Initially, despite what once may have been the reality, prenups are not now exclusively a tool to be employed by the affluent. People are typically marrying later in life than they once did, which often corresponds with either or both of the partners owning a home or business before marriage. However, for whatever the reason a prenup is proposed, there are rules of construction that must be followed if it is to be considered a valid, binding legal document.

A prenuptial agreement can address a wide range of topics but a favorite issue involves one partner agreeing to accept less in the event of a split than would otherwise be likely to be awarded by a family court. It's important to remember that despite the fact that a prenup is a very specialized type of contract, it is a contract that must comport with contract basics. A seminal factor if the prenup were to come under judicial scrutiny is whether the parties were in equaling bargaining positions as they hammered out the specific contract details.

Usually, courts will make certain the partner with fewer resources understands the nature of the transaction and fully, freely and for fair consideration willingly gives up certain potential rights. Prenups that may not survive are ones that may be blatantly one-sided, presented right before the wedding or are not in the native language of the person who is to be restricted by its terms.

Prenuptial agreements can make divorce less complicated, but there are nonetheless important legal matters to sort out when a marriage dissolves. An experienced family law lawyer might be able to provide guidance through the emotional ups and downs of the divorce process.

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