What Cannot Be Stipulated In A Prenuptial Agreement?

Many people believe that prenuptial agreements, also called pre-marital agreements, are only for the wealthy. But that is not true. A prenuptial agreement can be used by people at many income levels to protect their assets if divorce occurs.

However, there are certain things that a prenup cannot stipulate, which are described below. Do you need assistance with a pre-marital agreement? Our Chicago prenup attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC is experienced in drafting these critical agreements and can advise you.

What Can A Prenuptial Agreement Address?

The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act in Illinois outlines what can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. They include:

  • Each spouse’s rights and obligations about property belonging to either, no matter when it was purchased or where it is located.
  • The right to buy, sell, use, or transfer real estate, such as the marital home.
  • How property will be divided upon separation, divorce, or death.
  • How spousal support may be modified or eliminated.
  • The writing of a trust, will, or similar arrangement used to carry out the prenup’s provisions.
  • Life insurance policy ownership rights.

What Cannot Be In A Prenuptial Agreement?

Sometimes a couple may try to create their prenuptial agreement without an attorney’s assistance. This is not recommended; each spouse should have a qualified Chicago area prenup attorney review the contract, or it may be unenforceable. Matters that a prenup cannot stipulate include:

Illegal Provisions

Nothing in the prenup can violate the law. For example, there cannot be anything that encourages illegal activity or fraud or otherwise negatively affects public policy. For instance, a prenuptial agreement that attempts to lay out child support obligations will be deemed unenforceable by the court.

Non-Financial Issues

Most prenuptial agreements focus on financial issues, such as property division and debts, and spousal maintenance. Matters that relate to other subjects, such as personal behavior, child support or child custody, cannot be in the agreement. These issues are usually dealt with in a court order, such as a child custody order that prioritizes the child’s best interests.

Unfair Provisions

A prenuptial agreement provision cannot be unfair or too one-sided. For example, if the prenup states that one party should receive most of the marital property, it may be set aside by the divorce court. The terms of a prenuptial agreement must be reasonable and fair.

Lack Of Full Disclosure

For the pre-marital agreement to be valid, both spouses must offer a full financial disclosure. If one party does not disclose assets, income, or debts, the agreement could be unenforceable. You can work with a prenup agreement attorney in Chicago if you suspect during divorce that your spouse was not truthful about their assets.

Public Assistance Provisions

A prenuptial agreement cannot have provisions that limit or waive a party’s right to public assistance. You have the right to seek aid from the government if you are eligible. The prenup cannot prevent you from accessing these services.

Contact Our Chicago Prenup Attorney Today

A prenup can offer substantial protection and flexibility, but there are limits and rules to be aware of. If you need legal assistance with a prenuptial agreement, our Chicago prenup attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, can work with you to draft one that is legally enforceable. Please call (312) 360-0250 today for a legal consultation.